Internet of Things (IoT) Saudi Arabia Healthcare Systems: State-Of-The-Art, Future Opportunities and Open Challenges

Malak N. Al Otaibi

Abstract


Background: Internet of Things (IoT)-based health care applications are designed to explore and exploit the latest communication technologies in a manner that connects health care providers and patients by way of added-value services such as the remote monitoring of patient health and the availability of data analytics applications for clinicians and patients alike. This study aimed to provide a qualitative analysis of the enabling technologies, applications, benefits, challenges, future opportunities, and prospects for IoT-based health care applications that have been introduced to date in collaboration with some of the hospitals and medical cities in Saudi Arabia.
Method: A qualitative research design was used. Open-ended interviews were conducted with 10 informants, including information technology (IT) executives, IT directors, IT managers, and health informatics specialists, who were selected due to their knowledge of the health care systems in the medical cities of Saudi Arabia.
Results: State-of-the-art IoT technologies are not yet applied in the medical cities of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The results of the study show the most challenges with IoT technologies that affect patient's privacy and security and how to have this technology be safe, reliable, and accessible. Moreover, the benefits of IoT lie in its use for patients, which can increase the quality of care and services, increase the patient satisfaction and patient experience, and reduce the cost of time and amount of effort required for providing the best care for patients. Furthermore, standardization of IoT facilitates communications and accessibility of care between patients and health care providers.
Conclusion: There is a strong need to an infrastructure of health information systems in most of Saudi medical cities that fit with IoT. Furthermore, the attainment of higher numbers of staff with more experience in this field is warranted. However, the present research highlights that the promotion of the use of IoT in medical cities should be more focused on training the users and pushing them to increase adoption of IoT. The initiation of real projects that apply IoT in health care should also be promoted. These findings may also be useful for health care professionals when implementing future IoT health care services in Saudi medical cities for superior patient management.

Keywords


Internet of Things, IoT, health care systems, health care technologies, Saudi Arabia health care systems.

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