EHR and IoT: Bridging Devices with Data


Photo of author
Written By Jessica Miller

Jessica Miller is an experienced healthcare writer specializing in Electronic Health Records (EHR), healthcare technology and data analytics. Her insightful articles help healthcare professionals stay abreast of emerging trends and practices in EHR and EMR.

The development and adoption of Electronic Health Records (EHR) and health monitoring Internet of Things (IoT) devices have revolutionized the healthcare industry. These technologies have digitized patient records, enabled remote patient monitoring, improved healthcare decision-making, and advanced medical research. However, the fragmented nature of data among health infrastructures has hindered interoperability of medical data at the point of care.

To address this issue, we introduce BlockIoT, a system that uses blockchain technology to bridge the gap. BlockIoT transfers previously inaccessible and centralized data from medical devices to EHR systems, providing greater insight to healthcare providers and improving patient outcomes. This system achieves interoperability through an Application Programming Interface (API), distributed file system, and knowledge templates that analyze and represent medical device data. A survey on BlockIoT has demonstrated its suitability in supplementing physicians’ clinical practice and increasing efficiency in various healthcare specialties.

Key Takeaways:

  • EHR and IoT have revolutionized healthcare by digitizing patient records and enabling remote monitoring.
  • The fragmented nature of data hinders interoperability in healthcare.
  • BlockIoT, powered by blockchain technology, bridges the gap and facilitates secure data transfer.
  • BlockIoT enhances healthcare decision-making and improves patient outcomes.
  • Survey results show that BlockIoT is suitable for various healthcare specialties.

The Challenges of EHR and IoT Integration

The integration of Electronic Health Records (EHR) and Internet of Things (IoT) devices presents several challenges in the healthcare delivery system. While these technologies have transformed the industry by digitizing patient records and utilizing medical devices, data is still predominantly stored in a fragmented manner, posing obstacles for seamless information exchange and medical research.

One of the key challenges is achieving interoperability of data among various health infrastructures. The lack of standardized protocols and data formats hinders the seamless integration of medical data at the point of care, limiting the ability to leverage comprehensive patient information for informed decision-making. This fragmentation of data poses significant challenges to improving healthcare outcomes and advancing medical research.

Data security and patient privacy also emerge as major concerns in the integration of EHR and IoT. With centralized systems and data repositories, healthcare organizations face the risk of cyber-attacks and data breaches, compromising patient confidentiality and the integrity of medical records. Protecting patient privacy and ensuring data security are critical considerations in the implementation of EHR and IoT integration solutions.

The Solution: BlockIoT for Secure and Interoperable Communication

To address these challenges, an innovative information transfer system called BlockIoT, powered by blockchain technology, has been proposed. BlockIoT offers a robust solution to overcome the fragmented data issue by facilitating secure and interoperable communication between medical devices and EHR systems.

  • BlockIoT utilizes blockchain technology to ensure data integrity and security, protecting against unauthorized access and tampering.
  • The system leverages an Application Programming Interface (API), distributed file system, and knowledge templates to analyze and represent medical device data accurately.
  • BlockIoT enables healthcare providers to gain greater insights from previously inaccessible and centralized data, improving healthcare decision-making and facilitating advancements in medical research.

By implementing BlockIoT, healthcare organizations can overcome the challenges of EHR and IoT integration, enhancing the delivery of care, safeguarding patient privacy, and promoting data security in the healthcare ecosystem.

Integrating Legacy Medical Devices with EHRs through IoT

The integration of legacy devices with existing Electronic Health Records (EHR) applications poses a challenge for healthcare organizations. To overcome this hurdle, an innovative IoT solution has been proposed. This solution connects legacy serial port-based medical devices to the cloud, creating a custom bridging application server that facilitates seamless interaction between the EHR system and the medical equipment.

The IoT solution employs cutting-edge technologies such as HL7, ASTM Protocol, TCP/IP, GoLang, REST API, MQTT, Raspberry Pi, and Python. Raspberry Pi serves as the hardware interface to enable the integration of legacy devices, while the MQTT protocol ensures secure data transmission. A custom bridging application server, developed with GoLang, acts as an intermediary between the EHR system and the legacy devices, performing tasks such as data format conversion and ensuring secure communication.

Data security and HIPAA compliance are of utmost importance in this integration process. Measures are taken to prioritize patient privacy and protect sensitive data during transmission. The successful implementation of this IoT-based solution has significantly improved the integration of legacy medical equipment with EHR applications, enhancing data accessibility and streamlining healthcare processes.

The Future of EHR IoT Integration

The integration of Electronic Health Records (EHR) with Internet of Things (IoT) technology brings forth exciting opportunities for the future of healthcare. These developments hold immense potential in the fields of precision medicine, genomics, and Pharma IoT. The aim of precision medicine is to provide personalized healthcare by leveraging genomics and other omics platforms. By collecting and analyzing multiscale data, healthcare professionals can gain valuable insights for accurate diagnosis and tailored treatment plans.

Wearables and mobile apps are instrumental in supporting various health needs. From fitness tracking to health education, symptom monitoring, disease management, and care coordination, these technologies play a crucial role in empowering individuals to take control of their health. As data analytics and big data analysis continue to advance, real-time decision-making becomes more feasible, leading to improved patient outcomes.

In the future, “personalized preventative health coaches” will emerge as an essential component of healthcare. These digital companions will guide individuals towards adopting healthy habits, avoiding chronic illnesses, and enhancing mental well-being. Furthermore, Pharma companies are embracing IoT technologies to go beyond traditional medication. They are partnering with digital health advisors and developing sensor wearables to enable enhanced patient care and medication management.

The future holds great promise for EHR IoT integration in the healthcare industry. By leveraging precision medicine, genomics, Pharma IoT, wearables, mobile apps, and data analytics, we can anticipate transformative outcomes that will revolutionize the way healthcare is delivered and experienced.