Edge computing refers to the processing of data at or near the source of generation rather than transferring all data back to a central hub for processing.
In other words, this means that any device with an internet connection can have its processor and storage unit - allowing for more efficient information management from anywhere in the world.
This eliminates delays due to bandwidth constraints and latency issues associated with cloud-based solutions.
When combined with artificial intelligence (AI), edge computing has even more tremendous potential - with AI can process specific types of data on location instead of waiting for instructions from a centralized server which may not be available when needed most. With so many IoT devices being used in healthcare, this technology could prove to be revolutionary.
How does edge computing work in healthcare, and how can it help the industry evolve and grow?
In 2020, an average person generated 1.7MB of data every second on their devices. At the same time, it’s currently estimated that more than 100 million people are using wearable medical devices globally.
As this number increases, there will be a growing demand for insights into healthcare data to improve wellness and provide better patient care. This has led to the rise in edge computing, or decentralized intelligence, which is expected to see rapid growth in healthcare.
Edge computing allows computers to solve problems and make decisions at the edge of their networks (and not centrally), providing machine learning capabilities without requiring cloud support. It uses information that has been collected locally using sensors and micro-computing devices that can interact with the physical world.
The edge computing era has already arrived in healthcare. The decentralized network allows for more efficient data collection, management, and analysis from various wearable devices - such as those used for patient monitoring - intelligent home appliances, etc. This results in faster insights at a much lower cost.
Here are five use cases of edge computing in the healthcare industry.
Providing high-quality healthcare to remote areas
When the healthcare industry faced an infrastructure crisis, researchers developed portable IoT devices to provide quality care in rural areas and keep costs down for all involved parties.
Patients get diagnosed quickly and effectively on-site, with data fed back into central servers when connections resume.
Providers don’t need expensive network maintenance or personnel expenses because they’re able to communicate remotely about patient treatment plans instead of being limited only within physical proximity as before.
Data generated from wearable devices help improve medical research.
Wearable devices are becoming more common in the medical world.
They help improve patient care by giving valuable data to research scientists. Such information includes glucose monitors and blood pressure meters that collect extensive amounts of personal information about patients’ daily lives, which doctors can use for diagnosis or further monitoring over long timeframes.
With edge computing, even these devices can deliver valuable, high-quality information without requiring the cloud to do so.
For instance, insulin pumps can communicate with other devices without always needing to access the internet, making it easier for patients with diabetes to monitor their glucose levels and improve their health.
Furthermore, industry professionals can use wearable technology, including physical therapists who need accurate data about a person’s range of motion or recovery time after an operation to provide appropriate treatment.
Edge computing can improve your experience going to the hospital.
IoT medical devices such as smartwatches and glasses can provide notifications about an appointment, check-in for your visit at any time of day, or help find where you need to go to complete necessary paperwork without having anyone with confusing instructions.
Further, patients coming into a hospital can be guided by intelligent glasses or mobile devices that provide information about their medical history, insurance status, and other specifics.
Edge computing improves supply chains in hospitals.
Edge computing will allow for the medical supply chain to be improved on many levels. IoT edge devices are gathering data about usage patterns. They try to predict when hardware may fail.
Edge Computing has had huge implications for modern-day Healthcare providers. The impact was mainly thanks to its ability to manage inventories and provide more accurate information during forecasting periods. These predictions could end up saving lives or at least helping patients avoid unnecessary pain before it happens.
Edge computing makes healthcare more affordable.
Edge computing can make healthcare more affordable for organizations by up to 25%.
IoT edge devices could help providers save on patient monitoring and engagement, resulting in a lower cost of doing business.
Medical professionals have long been plagued with incompatible systems that are time-consuming or burdensome at times. We may eliminate this problem through networks made possible by the Internet of medical things (IoT). Their respective applications run smoothly across organizational boundaries due to increased communication efficiency.
Edge computing on IoT and mobile devices has transformed the way healthcare was and it is now.
Edge computing will bring the potential for new levels of efficiency in today’s healthcare environment.
It will support the ever-growing medical IoT industry and keep it evolving by making access and utilization easier and more accessible to everyone involved.
It is an up-and-coming technology that has already changed the world we live in - for the better.