Improving Healthcare Through PoE and IoT

Advancing IoT in Healthcare with These Smart Building Automation Solutions

September 23, 2019

The healthcare industry never stops advancing - from hospitals to home healthcare and nursing homes, we are seeing treatments evolving. But advancements in medicine are not the only way healthcare facilities are getting smarter. Today, we’re seeing IoT in healthcare take off. Hospitals and senior living care have incorporated smart healthcare systems using IoT to better manage their facilities, keep residents safer, make them more comfortable, and keep buildings secure.

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Benefits of IoT in Healthcare for Smart Hospitals

Healthcare has many facets; processes are developed around how to best monitor patients, how to make people feel more comfortable, and how to provide the most effective treatment. Incorporating IoT in healthcare turns a regular hospital into a smart hospital, making these processes more efficient and more accurate.

The most direct benefit of IoT in healthcare is the improvement of patient health. With IoT, healthcare facilities can remotely monitor many health indicators such as heart rate and blood pressure. Using a cloud-based IoT technology, data can be analyzed to give healthcare professionals more insight into a patient’s condition. This means doctors can make faster decisions with fewer errors.

IoT in healthcare also plays a role in preventative care. In the same way the massive amounts of data that come from IoT can be used to make life-saving decisions in real time, this data can also be used to base treatments off predictive analytics. In the future, we expect to see even more personalized treatment plans derived from IoT data in smart hospitals.

Smart building automation gives healthcare providers the opportunity to improve patient comfort. Hospitals can be stressful - the environment alone can make it difficult enough to get sleep, but even more so with light flooding the entire room anytime a nurse or doctor walks in. Using a smart building automation solution, these lights can be optimized and segmented to make the environment more comfortable and less distracting.

With a wide variety of drugs and medical supplies in a hospital, secure asset tracking can be difficult. Smart building automation improves a healthcare facility’s security protocol by making it easier to see what’s going on across the entire facility. Adding a security system that identifies zones for each individual, or tagging equipment to be tracked, is only the beginning of improved security and personnel management with IoT.

PoE in Healthcare for Smart Hospitals

With Igor's power over Ethernet-enabled smart building automation solution, Nexos, IoT data and power passes through Cat5 ethernet cables. Using a wired Ethernet system, devices securely transmit data without range limitations or interference. In healthcare facilities where the data can truly be life or death, the reliability of PoE is a great fit.

Power over Ethernet makes it easy to capitalize on the benefits of IoT in healthcare because it’s simple to install and to use. Imagine a day in a PoE-enabled healthcare facility. From the moment you arrive, seamless communication between devices ensures everything is connected and running smoothly. Each patient’s monitors are sending data to the cloud, which can be monitored in real-time. That data is analyzed to determine if there are any detrimental combinations of symptoms - combinations that might not be obvious to a doctor without the help of data.

Each mobile unit in a smart hospital, such as a crash cart, is being tracked using asset tracking capabilities made possible by smart building automation technology. This gives staff (with necessary permissions) the ability to locate any single piece of equipment at a moment’s notice and ensure units are not traveling outside of their designated zones.

Asset tracking doesn’t just apply to equipment; PoE technology can also track staff. A PoE-enabled security system, connected via a smart building automation platform, grants each individual unique access permissions based on their role. Meaning individuals only have access to areas they need and restricts access to places they don’t need to be. If someone needs additional or fewer permissions, it’s just a simple change - no need to update a code or pin that might disrupt multiple people.

Now, imagine a PoE-enabled nursing home that offers the full continuum of care, from independent living to memory care. How can a smart building automation system possibly work for all types of residents? Using zones, custom policies and more, a PoE system provides comfort for all.

PoE is one of many smart building automation protocols that make it easier to perform all kinds of day-to-day tasks. Pressure sensors in the floor and beds make it possible for lights to turn on when someone gets up during the night and off again once in bed. During the night, as residents move about their living space, lights turn on automatically to keep them safe from bumping into anything or falling.

Falls are a common risk for seniors. Smart building automation systems can notify your staff when someone has left their bed, not returned to bed, and when no motion has been detected in a set period of time. With these smart healthcare functionalities, PoE systems improve response times when something unexpected happens in a healthcare facility.

Similar to asset tracking systems in hospitals, a smart building automation system operating on the PoE protocol syncs with smart locks. Use this compatibility to keep individuals in memory care safe and reduce the chance of residents getting lost.

PoE is Reliable and Easy to Use for a Smart Healthcare Facility

Using new technology sounds great, but setup and installation is often difficult. This is not the case with PoE. The simplicity of installing and using PoE allows IoT to be easily incorporated into healthcare facilities with little disruption. Whether you’re constructing a new building or retrofitting an existing building, PoE can work for you. Yes, PoE is wired, but the open API allows for the flexibility of a wireless system with the reliability of a hardwired system.

Because PoE is low voltage, the installation process is very simple. Once the system itself has been installed, discovering and adding devices to the network is incredibly easy. Simply plug in your PoE device and it is automatically recognized by Igor’s software. Now, you can start setting up zones and policies that are easy to adjust as your needs grow and change.

PoE is a realistic smart building solution for all types of healthcare facilities. Whether you work in a doctor’s office, hospital or senior living facility, you can benefit from a smart building automation system which focuses on people. With the capabilities of PoE you can turn your facility into a smart building, improving the overall experiences of your residents, visitors and staff.

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