In May 2020, the NHS posted a notice for software to help scale up their remote monitoring capabilities amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Faced with a population under lockdown, senior officials are seeking ways to utilise health-tech and telehealth – supported by robust networks – to provide patient care. Even before the pandemic, Internet of Things (IoT) technologies played a significant role in the industry. Healthcare specialists could monitor their patients through connected sensors, make assessments via video calls, and even perform surgery on a patient thousands of miles away using virtual reality.
A flexible network is needed to link devices between doctors and patients, and given the variety of legacy systems and services, full interoperability is critical. The ability to handle huge volumes of data in the instances of video and streaming demands reliability along with near-zero latency. It goes without saying that security is key due to the intrinsic sensitive nature of patient data. Exposure to cyber threats could have catastrophic results for both patients and the organisation, leading IT leaders to consider using private cellular networks in addition to Wi-Fi, in order to create the most secure solution possible.
Life-saving connections
Inside a facility, a network of sensors can be used in a number of ways to improve processes and support medical staff. For example, the status of every patient could be monitored using IoT devices programmed to send alerts if an abnormal reading is recorded. This is particularly important in large hospitals where staff have more patients to monitor than ever, given quarantine situations, and where remote monitoring is essential to minimising contact with the disease.
Behind the scenes, administrative processes could be automated and streamlined to further support hospital staff. For example, by automatically registering the number of available beds in each department or sending test results directly to medical

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