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IoT Time Preview: Healthcare

By Ken Briodagh July 12, 2017

IoT Evolution, the leading media brand for the Internet of Things (IoT), has published a book outlining more than 150 of the leading trends in the IoT industry, entitled “IoT Time: Evolving Trends in the Internet of Things.” The book, written by IoT Evolution Editorial Director, Ken Briodagh, seeks to explore the factors that have shaped the recent past of the developing industry and use those to predict the trends that will drive the next period of growth. Each of the trends is explicated and illustrated with a case study or product review that supports each position.

In this weekly series, we’ll be previewing chapters for you to read in the hopes that you’ll like enough to read the whole thing. To do just that, for free, click here. Alternatively, there’s a paperback version available on Amazon for $14.99.

Chapter 5: Healthcare
Trend: Personal healthcare devices
Fixing a Billion Dollar Problem in Healthcare with IoT

Healthcare analytics and technology services company Intermedix has developed a predictive analytics application for hospitals and clinics that predicts patient no-shows using Dataiku DSS. It is now being used in more than 50 private clinics across the U.S.

Long-term, patient no-shows result in lowered reimbursement for providers and negative impacts on adherence, quality, and clinical outcome measures for patients. More and more organizations are turning towards advanced analytics to reduce the probability of no-shows and their associated costs using heterogeneous data to optimize scheduling systems.

It’s estimated that between 5 and 10 percent of patients miss scheduled appointments, and primary care physicians lose an average of $228 for every no-show. Specialists lose even more. The Intermedix no-show predictor is designed to assist local office managers in reducing the number of patients who miss appointments by using the Dataiku DSS to ingest and crunch historical appointment and demographic patient data. From there, a predictive model scores individual patients based on the probability that they will miss a scheduled appointment and the system automatically sends this output to the office managers at regular intervals, customized to the practice’s needs.

Trend: Data-driven Health
Big Data and IoT in Healthcare: Enabling a Greater Good

Allied Market Research forecasts the size of the global IoT healthcare market, made up of devices, systems and software and services will reach $136.8B by 2021.

Sensors, software and data scientists help people move better and avoid injury caused by sports, exercise or manual-labor intensive jobs through analysis of data and statistical trends. Big data and IoT technologies can be used to benefit many, even improving childhood mortality rates.

dorsaVi is a product that is designed to alleviate muscle pain and injury. It was founded by Andrew Ronchi, a physiotherapist in Melbourne, Australia. Using medical-grade, certified sensors, and software and algorithms, the company helps people recover from and even avoid injury in three different applications: workforce safety, clinical situations, and elite athletics such as professional and collegiate sports teams. ViSafe is an occupational health and safety application used in motion studies to measure range and effort of movement. ViMove includes the same sensors with different firmware and analytics to help people understand how they move and what impact those mechanics have on their body. ViPerform targets elite athletes between games and competitions, to ensure they are moving in their most efficient, athletically effective and healthy way possible.

dorsaVi uses accelerometers, magnetometers and gyroscopes to measure range of motion during a movement and muscle activity to indicate the level of effort exerted. The dorsaVi products use real-time data to analyze movements, offer refinements and corrections, and ultimately improve the daily experience for individuals and groups of people.

THINKMD is a global healthcare technology company based in Burlington, Vermont, with a solution that has the potential to extend healthcare systems into communities, neighborhoods, and homes. Its goal is to give healthcare workers more tools and information so that anyone can play an active role in the communities they serve.

MEDSINC is the first product from THINKMD, which guides a user through simple questions and gathering of data, before generating triage and treatment recommendations that can improve health outcomes and reduce preventable childhood mortality. With each assessment, MEDSINC captures 40-50 public health and epidemiological data points. This data is completely de-identified, but is geo-tagged and time-stamped, offering a public health data set for underserved regions that doesn’t exist to date.

“With less than two hours of training, community healthcare workers can learn the MEDSINC platform and gather critical clinical and healthcare data on a smartphone or tablet. MEDSINC then generates up to 20 integrated assessments as well as triage, treatment and instructional recommendations appropriate for the user to implement in the community or healthcare facility,” explained Dr. Barry Finette, Founder of THINKMD. “Our technology is unique because we designed the back-end algorithms to mimic the way a physician assesses a child. By taking a holistic and integrated approach, MEDSINC allows for the integrated assessment of many critical diseases simultaneously.”

Trend: Solutions from unexpected sources
Blood Bank Data Solution Wins $100K IoT Hackathon Prize

Saudi Arabia's MiSK Foundation gave its first-ever grand prize in its UK/Saudi Medical Internet Of Things Hackathon to an invention by Team Limitless that calls itself the “LinkedIn of blood banks.” The event took place simultaneously in London and Riyadh.

The invention is designed to revolutionize blood bank donation by connecting data profiles of donors to streamline supply while making it safer for hospitals. Team Limitless, a team of eight based in Saudi Arabia, won an investment of $100,000 and professional mentoring that will guide them in starting a company and taking the idea to the proof of concept stage. The members are: Tareq Sangorah, Salman Alarifi, Monira Alhasan, Ibrahim Khalifa, Mazen Rukayni, Ahmed Isam, Faten Bader and Riham Alobeidan.

“We're ecstatic and can hardly believe it,” said Sangorah. “It's brilliant to win, but it's also been an amazing experience working collaboratively across two countries in this way and is such a life-changing opportunity for all of us. We're all passionate about this idea which will revolutionize the current channel inefficiencies in blood donation - and we can't wait to take it to the next level to make a real difference and meet this need.”

Hundreds of inventors took part in the 48 hour hackathon in London and Riyadh, joined by live broadcast satellite. Cross-cultural teams collaborated to compete for investment in their health tech invention, which was awarded by an expert dual-nation judging panel. Judges included representatives from the British Council, international network HealthTech Women, Microsoft, Cisco, and a Professor and Robotics Surgeon at King Khaled Hospital, Riyadh.

“I'm really impressed with the quality of the ideas and the people behind them. These are ideas that can genuinely save lives,” said Dr. Tawfiq Al Rabiah, Minister of Health, Saudi Arabia. “Vision 2030 is all about building a diversified economy that depends on knowledge. This first-of-its-kind UK/ Saudi hackathon from the MiSK Foundation demonstrates the caliber and innovation talent of our youth, who can help transform the whole country.”

The second and third prizes were $50,000 and $35,000, and were awarded to the inventors of a medical drug vending machine and a medical health device to score and track anxiety levels, respectively. Those teams will also receive mentoring to take their innovative health tech inventions forward.

Trend: Remote health monitoring
Olea Announces RespiroTrack IoT Technology for Connected Healthcare

Olea Sensor Networks, a maker of intelligent sensors and analytic software for sensor network-based systems, released its RespiroTrack with OleaSense Development Platform for contactless, remote health monitoring applications, featuring real-time data collection of respiratory function. This wireless, contactless device is designed to collect and process respiration data, and extract statistics using intelligent sensor analytics, transmitting it via Bluetooth to the cloud. No external wires and no contact with the body are required. The compact design, smaller than a business card, may be embedded in a bed, worn around the neck or in a shirt pocket.

Today's clinical spirometers are bulky and intrusive, requiring the patient to insert a tube in their mouth. The only alternative to this is a manual breath count, which provides no auxiliary data or analytics. Respiratory function can be an indicator of many major conditions including congestive heart failure, COPD and asthma. The Olea RespiroTrack tracks respiratory function and performs predictive analysis of potential conditions.

“This is a major step forward in digital health. Olea RespiroTrack provides a platform for enhanced machine learning diagnostics which assist our understanding of the human biological system. It's an advanced sensing technology, capable of unprecedented accuracy,” said Frank Morese, CEO, CTO and Founder, Olea. “We believe the time has come for this product, as market leaders seek the most advanced, streamlined, connected technologies to facilitate efficiency and outreach in healthcare markets worldwide.”

In 2013, Olea launched its flagship product, the OS-3001 Intelligent Multi-Sensor Platform, for non-clinical R&D use as a handheld/wearable, wireless, intelligent, multi-sensor data acquisition platform. It serves as a sensor hub with various on-board intelligent sensors. Since then, Olea has produced the OS-3005 and OS-3008, feature-rich platforms for vital sign sensing, the OleaVision life presence detector and Olea HeartSignature biometric technology. Olea's technologies are designed for use with Olea's sensor-analytics software and, optionally, its cloud-based service solutions using Olea's IoT Intelligent Partitioning Architecture.

Trend: Diagnostic IoT
Rule Out Arterial Disease with AUM Cardiovascular

AUM Cardiovascular, maker of a handheld device with advanced analytics to help rule out coronary artery blockages that uses AT&T’s global connectivity for its IoT healthcare devices, is able to deliver diagnostic test results to patients in about 10 minutes.

The AUM Cardiovascular CADence device is a quick, noninvasive, no needle, zero-radiation test that uses acoustic detection and analysis to look for Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) risk factors in patients by the sound of blood flow in the coronary arteries. It collects heart sound data from four locations on the patient's chest. A tablet with an app custom-built to work with AT&T’s wireless services receives data from the device and then sends the data securely to AUM’s secure server for acoustic analysis. Within about 10 minutes of the data upload, the clinician receives the results via email.

The process, typically quick and painless for patients, can be performed in the doctor's office, hospital, home or virtually anywhere cellular coverage is available. The convenience and ease-of-use makes it useful for clinicians like cardiologists, family and internal medicine doctors, nurse practitioners, nurses and certified medical assistants.

“My husband, Rob, fell victim to undetected coronary artery disease at the age of 41. I know firsthand the devastation this disease can cause,” said Marie Johnson, PhD, Founder and CEO, AUM Cardiovascular. “We are using the latest technology and AT&T global connectivity to quickly and easily determine if CAD risk factors are present. We hope to prevent tragedy for other families.”

CADence is available in Germany, and the company is expanding to other EU countries and Australia, and soon into Canada and the Philippines. It’s under review by the FDA in the U.S. and is expected to be in the U.S. market by the end of 2017, pending FDA approval.

Trend: Personalized care
Finland and IBM to Develop Personalized Healthcare with Watson

Tekes, the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation, and IBM are working together to make it so Finland can use Watson cognitive computing to help doctors improve the health of its citizens, and strengthen and develop the Finnish innovation and business ecosystem in the fields of health and well-being. To facilitate the collaboration, IBM is establishing a Watson Health Center of Excellence in Finland, the first Nordic Healthcare Competence Center, and the first National Imaging Center of Excellence outside the United States in Finland. These centers are expected to employ 150 people over the next few years.

Tekes anticipates this collaboration with IBM will create data-driven cognitive computing applications and solutions and it will lead to an expansion and growth of Finland's business and innovation ecosystem. Specifically, Tekes expects the partnership to accelerate creation of new start-up companies in Finland, gain new opportunities for Finland companies for global growth, and help to digitalize the country's healthcare business sector for companies of all sizes.

“The combination of world-leading information and communications technology competences with health and well-being solutions are already creating world-leading health-tech innovations in Finland. In Finland, the close collaboration among health-tech companies, top-notch researchers and world-class hospitals has created a strong health eco-system, called the ‘Health Valley’,” said Pekka Soini, director general, Tekes. “I am positive that Watson cognitive computing capabilities will further boost innovation in Finland and put Finland at the forefront of game-changing health transformation, at the European level and in the global marketplace.  Foremost, we believe the collaboration will benefit both IBM and Finland, and the development work conducted in Finland will further advance Watson's capabilities.”

Finnish doctors and researchers are working with Watson Health data scientists, engineers, researchers and designers to develop a new generation of data-driven healthcare applications and solutions, advancing R&D and innovation in Finland.

Central Finland's Regional Governor Tapani Mattila remarked, “In Central Finland there are several health related competence centers that would benefit from deployment of IBM Watson cognitive computing. We see this as an excellent opportunity to contribute to the common good for the region and the nation.”

The Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa (HUS) are employing cognitive computing to aid in the early identification of serious bacterial infections in prematurely born babies and to bolster imaging of cerebral hemorrhage patients. HUS is also evaluating Watson Health and employing cognitive computing to aid physicians in providing patients with personalized cancer care.

IBM says these Centers will use the Watson Health Cloud, a health-data enabled, platform-as-a-service, to provide the foundation for cognitive offerings designed to help enable individualized insights and provide a more complete picture of the many factors that can affect people’s health. This will be done in compliance with any operational and security requirements for Finnish health data and data reservoirs.

“Finland was selected as a destination country to implement various Watson Health capabilities, including the Watson Health Cloud, based on the country's vision to restructure and digitalize its healthcare system, its tech-savvy citizens and mobile capabilities, and a social environment that supports a culture of health,” said Deborah DiSanzo, general manager, IBM Watson Health. “The Tekes-IBM Watson Health partnership makes Finland a forerunner in health globally with Finnish citizens at the center as the ultimate beneficiaries. We are honored to work together to improve lives around the world.”

Trend: Academic-Enterprise partnerships
AT&T Opens Foundry for Connected Health at Texas Medical Center

Connectivity giant AT&T is opening IoT Foundries all over the U.S., and a new one in Texas is focused on health care and has found a home at the Texas Medical Center Innovation center in Houston.

Health care providers across the country are working out a difficult problem: There aren’t enough doctors and nurses to meet the needs of an ever-increasing number of patients. Meanwhile, the healthcare complex might be the only way to secure the trust of consumers in the IoT.

“We’ve been listening to the health care industry, many of whom are already customers, about the challenges they face today,” said Chris Penrose, SVP, IoT, AT&T. “We want to help create stronger connections between caregivers and patients. By applying the Foundry model and IoT insights into health care, we can help providers accomplish their goals.”

The Foundry resides on Texas Medical Center’s campus, the largest medical center in the world. Along with fostering new and innovative companies in the space, it will be a resource for Texas Medical Center’s physicians and innovators looking to create integrated and connected healthcare solutions. The Innovation Institute houses several medical innovation programs including the TMCx accelerator, a fellowship program, as well as a workspace for health startups and innovation incubators.

“The Houston AT&T Foundry is unique because it’s located directly among our potential customers. We’ll collaborate with the hospitals, clinics, startups, and other TMC facilities to address big problems in the industry,” said Igal Elbaz, Vice President, Ecosystem and Innovation, AT&T. “Working with Texas Medical Center and their network of hospitals and researchers will help strengthen and accelerate the innovation we bring to market.”

“The opening of the AT&T Foundry at the Texas Medical Center demonstrates how global industry leaders are playing an essential role in advancing the life science and innovation ecosystem,” said Robert C. Robbins, M.D., President and CEO of the Texas Medical Center. “Digital health is the next frontier for innovation as we work to improve the way we take care of patients in our hospitals, ultimately extending that care beyond hospital walls and into patients’ daily lives at home.”

Trend: Adoption in practice
How Healthcare Providers Can Plan for the IoT

The IoT is growing in the healthcare industry, accelerating from under 30 percent penetration, behind many other IoT sectors, to pulling even and ahead of many in terms of number of device sin the field.

The initial slowness was probably due to factors unique to healthcare like patient safety, trust and well-being. Connectivity is mission-critical for health, and the industry has solved many of the problems facing some of the other verticals today. The IoT has huge potential for dramatic positive outcomes in healthcare, which is why it is among the fastest-growing IoT verticals.  According to Research and Markets, the IoT healthcare industry will continue growing at a compound annual growth rate of 38.1 percent from 2015 to 2020, at which time it will be a $163.24 billion industry.

The benefits are becoming ever clearer. Doctors’ appointments cut into every day activities are often skipped. IoT technology will help doctors to use data generated from consumer-worn devices to track and monitor patients from afar, helping to identify patients who should see a doctor and limit visitations for others. Instead of traveling to a doctor’s office at all, some patients will be able to engage in remote checkups from their homes using live streaming video. With data-driven insights on patient needs available between in-person visits, doctors can keep closer tabs on their patients, reducing the likelihood of catastrophic events arising and going unnoticed.

Of course, the IoT won’t just make it more convenient for patients to communicate with doctors. It will also expedite response times during emergencies. Using wearables with connected devices and sensors, doctors can quickly identify medical abnormalities or accidents as soon as they arise. If an elderly patient falls at home, for instance, emergency medical personnel can be dispatched immediately. Connected devices will also provide health care professionals with critical and accurate information while the patient is on the way to the hospital.

Trend: Connected heath systems
Hudson Fiber Network Links Hospitals for Better Care

New York’s Hospital for Special Surgery is working with Hudson Fiber Network to use Hudson’s custom data network designed to connect the Hospital’s multiple facilities and create a big data network that will lead to improved patient outcomes.

“Today’s leading healthcare facilities have a growing need for big bandwidth networks to move detailed information like test results, x-rays, and patient information within their member facilities,” said Brett Diamond, CEO, Hudson Fiber Network.

Hudson Fiber Network allows the hospital to connect and share data between hospitals, doctors’ offices, labs, clinics and other service points quickly and efficiently through its custom network design that provides low-latency, high-bandwidth.

“HFN is recognized as having one of the most advanced network structures in the NY/NJ/CT metro area,” said Jason Vanrell, director of technical operations, department of information technology, Hospital for Special Surgery. “Their ability to assist us in building out our network and interconnecting our key locations made them an invaluable partner.”

The HFN data transport and infrastructure provider connects multiple facilities with each other to offer patients the best quality of care and expertise. The company and its network offer flexible networking solutions for financial, content, carrier and enterprise clients.

The Hospital for Special Surgery is a member of the New York-Presbyterian Healthcare System and is an affiliate of Weill Cornell Medical College. All of the Hospital for Special Surgery’s medical staff are also faculty of Weill Cornell. The hospital specializes in orthopedics, rheumatology and rehabilitation and has been ranked highly in the U.S. News & World Report in the 2015-16 issue. It is the first hospital in New York State to receive Magnet Recognition for Excellence in Nursing Service from the American Nurses Credentialing Center three consecutive times.

Trend: Technology for error prevention
New IIC Connected Care Testbed to Improve Healthcare Delivery with IoT

The Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) launched an IoT testbed in partnership with RTI, Infosys, PTC and the Massachusetts General Hospital MD PnP Lab in order to apply the power of the IoT to healthcare delivery. This Connected Care Testbed is developing an open IoT data management and analytics platform for clinical and remote medical devices that will gather and process patient monitoring data to improve patient care in hospitals and home care environments.

According to Julian M. Goldman, Physician at Massachusetts General Hospital MD and co-leader of the IIC healthcare task group, in the U.S. alone, up to 400,000 people die in hospitals each year due to preventable medical errors. The advent of accessible IIoT technologies has the potential to remedy this, but the slow pace of technology adoption and proprietary solutions from medical device manufacturers makes it difficult.

RTI has joined fellow IIC members to demonstrate how IIoT technologies, such as its Data Distribution Service (DDS) standard, can address the challenges of complex hospital environments with the same reliability, security and scalability proven in other industries.

RTI’s Connext DDS technology provides the connectivity platform for the Connected Care testbed. The MD PnP Integrated Clinical Environment (ICE) will also support clinical and hospital device communication and PTC ThingWorx underpins the user interfaces and cloud applications. Infosys is the primary system integrator for the project and is providing its Infosys Information Platform for data analytics.

“We are thrilled to have RTI contribute to the IIC’s Connected Care testbed and help convey our vision of a safer, more efficient healthcare system,” said Dr. Richard Soley, Executive Director, IIC. “RTI has been a large part of the successes of our previous testbeds and we are confident their expertise in IIoT healthcare solutions will deliver the same value.”

Trend: Fertile technology
Smart Thermometer to Help Women Struggling with Fertility

Fertility issues are a very sensitive topic. While using a traditional calendar method to track and guess when ovulation occurs might work for some, those who suffer with fertility issues know that doesn’t always work. Many doctors recommend better tracking for accuracy. Thanks to IoT technology, potential parents now have apps and tools at their fingertips to make important decisions and track their reproductive health and can even generate and save important information.

One company focused on creating mobile apps that specifically empower women to better understand their bodies by tracking important data is Bongmi. The company’s product is called Femometer, which is a smart fertility thermometer that can be used along with a dedicated app on a smartphone to monitor a woman’s temperature and analyze the data to best predict ovulation. The app and thermometer could also be used as a tool to help prevent pregnancy.

“Having a baby and growing your family should be a time of joy and celebration, not one of stress, worry and anxiety. Femometer decodes what your body is doing at any time during your cycle so you are educated about the best time to try to conceive,” said Adam Lou, co-founder & CEO, Bongmi.  “For women that aren’t looking to get pregnant, Femometer helps them understand their reproductive health so they can make more informed choices and decisions. Our goal is to empower every woman at every stage of her lifecycle with the knowledge and data she needs to live a healthier, happier life.”

The small lightweight thermometer is available in purple, pink, white and blue and measures Basal Body Temperature (BBT) and then syncs that data to the users their Android or iOS app.

Trend: Telemedicine
HotChange Advances Medical Access

Telemedicine is a fast paced industry, which requires advancements in new products. PNMsoft, a Microsoft Gold ISV, which is used by medical teams to manage processes on mobiles and tablets, and Amedar Consulting Group (ACG) have introduced and began to integrate a Business Process Management (BPM) solution called HotChange.

This BPM project includes the implementation of a process management platform which manages all aspects of caring for hospital patients, and the internal procedures for medical staff. It also enhances senior management reporting capabilities and work allocation and task routing for hospital staff. The platform has been integrated with telemedicine devices for a visual representation of patient data and records.

“We are witnessing first hand a great example of Internet of Things (IoT) and BPM,” said James Luxford, CTO, PNMsoft. “Our unique HotChange technology helps our customers to modernize their processes and keep optimizing them – with no disruption – supporting Continuous Business Improvement, as is the case with Amedar.”

The customers’ telemedicine devices have plug-in GSM modules. Those modules send data to web services. PNMsoft’s Sequence software, which is built with HotChange technology, gets the data from web services and saves it to a database.

In this weekly series, we’ll be previewing chapters for you to read in the hopes that you’ll like enough to read the whole thing. To do just that, for free, click here. Alternatively, there’s a paperback version available on Amazon for $14.99.




Edited by Ken Briodagh

Editorial Director

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