TECHNOLOGY

M2M, Mobile & Big Data = Healthcare transformation

M2M, Mobile & Big Data are driving disruption:

Sensors in surgical instruments are being used to produce 4D virtualisations of the surgery site, better equipping surgical teams but also providing data for research. Proteus Digital Health has an FDA approved ingestible sensor to capture data about medication ingestion rates. Together with a wearable sensor and mobile app, the system is said to produce 5,000 data points per minute on topics from dose timing, heart-rate, temperature, rest patterns, physical activity and physiological responses.

 

The promise of united M2M, mobile and big data technology is breath taking. The prospect of new markets, new revenue streams and closer relationships with patients is very real. The vast majority of health science executives have identified the importance of digital innovation to their business. While most are excited by new opportunities others remain still, frozen like a rabbit in headlights.

 

No doubt the rate and variety of innovation can be mind blowing. Health science executives like leaders in other industries feel safe until the potential for missed opportunities, and disruptive threats,  from across the technology spectrum are understood. One year ago, “Cooking hacks” (the open hardware division of Libelium – producer of the Waspmote), began to transform of the M2M health science space for start-ups by releasing a suite of open platform medical tools, including example code. They have demonstrated an intention to support the platform by releasing updates and extending it.

 

“Cooking Hacks provides a cheap, open alternative compared to the proprietary and price-prohibitive medical market solutions available, to inspire makers to develop new applications that help people thrive.”

 

In late September, the American FDA published its medical mobile-app guidance, “promising limited regulation for most health and wellness apps while applying risk-based standards to diagnostic and quasi-medical device apps.” The FDA will focus regulation on mobile apps that work with M2M medical devices. While these open platforms are for R&D, the stated aim is to revolutionise affordability in the industry. A couple of days ago I saw a tweet from the Medtronic CEO about an Indian project that used an Android app with an endoscope incased around the phone and with cloud support, and web-access to inner ear images for doctors.

 

Some executive fear of technological disruption driven by a maker culture is understandable in an industry already witnessing huge leaps in M2M technology sponsored by multinational health science organisations. While fear may prevail in some organisations, the aggregate of mobile, big data and M2M is truly revolutionary and offers much opportunity. Many forward-looking health science organisations have the core big data technologies in place, essentially data repositories, analytics and integration technologies. Those who don’t will play catch-up on two technological fronts. The influx of massive volumes of data, emanating from M2M applications, presents a big data challenge for health science. To realise the true potential of M2M the data must be rapidly analysed and transformed into usable results. These results may need to be sent to a mobile device and presented through a mobile app. Such healthcare mobile apps are available today. This category of mobile app streamlines healthcare work by presenting remote updates from medical equipment or sharing data with doctors as in the Medtronic Android endoscope example.

 

This health science IoT market, as other IoT markets, is only starting to gather pace. The past four years in M2M has been about telecom service providers who focused on connectivity. Providers, such as Jasper, are acting as a facilitator by offering IoT cloud services platforms. Jasper and Boston Scientific partnered on a ‘Patent Management System’ called Latitude.  This system is a common IoT configuration: a gateway (or broker in QTMM) talks to a pacemaker (client) and cloud service. The gateway is crying out for a mobile option.

 

We should see a lot of disruption in the health-science and health care markets.

 

The response to mobile from large multinational health science organisations is modest as they continue to struggle to transform their digital approach. Both government and industry leaders anticipate a M2M, mobile and big data transformation of the sector and they expect some of that transformation to be disruptive.

About Us: Eureka Time can help develop embedded software projects for IoT. We can help with Big Data and cloud software development. We can also help with Mobile software. We are strong in all three areas. We offer social marketing services and are happy to help with digital transformation (putting digital know-how everywhere with centralised dictionaries, standards and security).

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