Why the Health Sector Needs Edge Computing Networks

Why the Health Sector Needs Edge Computing Networks– zsah

Edge computing is quickly becoming a necessary component of our increasingly connected world. In healthcare, it is particularly important as doctors and nurses rely on real-time data to make decisions that could mean the difference between life and death for their patients.

This technology is revolutionising the healthcare industry by allowing faster and more efficient data transmission. Unlike traditional methods of processing data, edge computing allows for data to be processed at or near its source rather than sending it over a network to a distant server or cloud. This provides several advantages, such as improved patient care, service delivery, and operations.

Additionally, by keeping data local, hospitals can maintain tighter control over their information security protocols and avoid any potential breach of sensitive patient information that could see them run afoul of HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) and other data privacy laws.

Doctors can also use the collected patient data to predict potential medical issues before they occur, allowing them to take preventive measures before it is too late.

Below are a few examples of how edge computing is driving better healthcare outcomes.

Edge Computing in Patient Data Transmission and Security

Edge computing brings data processing close to the place where the data originates, allowing healthcare organisations to store and manage information generated from many connected devices such as sensors, security cameras, and medical records. This eliminates the need for time-consuming tasks like physically transporting medical records and improves latency by reducing transmission time.

By minimising transmission time, edge computing can substantially reduce end-to-end latency and the challenges of limited bandwidth and data storage capacity. This allows healthcare professionals to spend more time with patients instead of dealing with administrative tasks.

Edge computing also provides a secure environment for patient data storage, ensuring that sensitive information remains private and secure. For example, critical patient information is not transmitted over long distances, where it is more vulnerable to being hacked. While all cloud solutions can do this, from a security standpoint, edge computing excels because of its decentralised data storage structure.

Several health-tech startups are developing edge tools that incorporate AI and adaptive technology into data management to streamline workflows. Some applications also allow medical professionals to access notes, data, and care alerts in real time. In addition, IoT-based mobile monitoring and telehealth applications transfer patient data from ambulances to the ER while en route. This allows emergency teams to make treatment decisions before the ambulance arrives.

Edge Computing in Diagnostics

In many cases, diagnostic testing requires specialised laboratory equipment that can take days or weeks to process results. With edge computing, this time is reduced to hours or even minutes as tests can be run at the point of care or through wearable devices containing sensors to monitor blood sugar, heart rate, oxygen saturation, and other vitals.

This is particularly beneficial for patients with chronic conditions who need to be monitored regularly. In addition, for older patients and those with cognitive impairments, this can be a lifesaver as it allows for the early detection of health issues and potential problems.

Edge Computing in Telehealth and Patient Monitoring

Telehealth is one of the most visible applications of edge computing in healthcare. It has been instrumental in providing care to patients in remote locations and has been used to connect doctors with patients in underserved communities.

Medical professionals can now keep tabs on their patients at hospitals and care centres and when they are alone at home, thanks to connected devices. Video conferencing, which allows for faster and more flexible communication, allows patients to connect with their doctors while connected wearables immediately transmit health data to patient management systems around the clock.

Edge Computing in Robotic Surgery

In many cases, edge computing and 5G networks are being used to power robotic surgery. These systems allow for more precise and less invasive procedures. They are also being used to connect surgeons with patients located far away.

Robotic surgery is made possible by installing cameras and other sensors on surgical instruments. This data is then transmitted in real-time to a computer that processes it and guides the surgeon.

Edge Computing in Optimising the Pharmaceutical Supply Chain

Pharmaceutical companies are increasingly turning to edge computing to optimise the supply chain and ensure patients receive their medications on time. This is achieved through scanners, sensors, and other machinery tracking drugs throughout their lifecycle. Collecting real-time information on a drug’s location, condition, and expiration dates makes it easier to detect issues such as counterfeiting and tampering. Edge computing provides significant benefits in these scenarios because data can be processed quickly without relying on outside sources. With faster processing speeds and reduced latency, companies can get up-to-date insights into how their supply chain is performing – which means they can make informed decisions about inventory levels and the distribution of medicines.

Overall, edge computing allows pharmaceutical companies to monitor their products throughout the supply chain in real time. By providing accurate and timely data about inventory levels, expiration dates, and more, edge computing helps ensure that patients always receive the medications they need when they need them.

Edge Computing in Infection Control and Public Health Improvement

Edge computing is a powerful tool for infection control and public health improvement. It enables healthcare organisations to monitor patients for signs of infection in real-time and track the spread of disease. This is done by collecting data from various sources, such as medical devices, wearables, and sensors. The data is then processed at the network's edge, allowing healthcare providers to quickly identify potential outbreaks and take action to contain them.

For example, edge computing can be used to detect sepsis infections in hospitals. Using AI algorithms on data collected from medical devices, such as heart rate monitors and temperature sensors, healthcare providers can quickly identify sepsis signs and treat it before it becomes life-threatening.

Edge computing also allows for remote monitoring of patients in rural areas or other locations where access to healthcare may be limited. This helps ensure that those who need care can receive it promptly.

In addition, edge computing can be used to improve infection control protocols by providing real-time information about the spread of infectious diseases. This information can help public health officials develop strategies for containing an outbreak before it becomes widespread. For instance, edge computing can be used to track the movement of individuals exposed to an infectious agent or showing symptoms of an illness. This allows public health officials to quickly identify areas where further containment measures may be necessary and provide targeted interventions that can help reduce the impact of an outbreak on local populations.

Overall, edge computing provides a powerful tool for improving infection control and public health outcomes. By enabling real-time monitoring and analysis of patient data, healthcare providers are better equipped to respond quickly when faced with potential outbreaks or other threats posed by infectious agent.

Sign Up Now!

For expert advice and resources – blogs, interviews, webinars, guides and more.

How zsah Managed Edge Computing Services Can Help

Edge computing can reduce latency and bandwidth consumption, which offers businesses in the healthcare sector many advantages.

Healthcare organisations concerned with patient care, optimising the supply chain, infection control and public health improvement can benefit from the localised data capture, analysis, and insight that edge cloud makes possible.

Unfortunately, deploying and managing an edge network requires significant expertise and resources, as there are numerous technical and compliance issues to consider.

At zsah, we offer edge computing as a managed service, enabling healthcare businesses to take advantage of the benefits of edge computing without having to worry about the technical challenges. Our edge network service is built with industry-leading technologies and designed to meet regulatory requirements, ensuring fast, secure data transmission and reliable connectivity. With zsah edge network, healthcare organisations can focus on what really matters – their patients and their wellbeing.

If you're in the healthcare sector and would like to learn more about zsah’s managed cloud and edge computing services, get in touch with us.