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Wearable Medical Devices vs. mHealth vs. Healthcare IoT: Sorting Out What to Call These Technologies




Using SEO Keyword Analysis to Find the “Best” Description of These Emerging Medical Device Design & Development Segments

Electronic e-healthcare blue and grey background with hexagonal

For the past few years, we’ve been writing about medical devices as they relate to the Internet of Things, which, of course, is also known as an acronym: IoT. Likewise, during that time, we also written about mHealth devices, wearable medical devices, wireless medical devices and so forth.

 

To be perfectly honest, we’ve never been entirely certain about the best catch-all term for these technologies. This isn’t just for our own internal communications; we’ve been seeking a single term that both makes it easier for people to find us online (e.g., the “Wireless Medical Device Center” section of our Website), but also for us to find related news, blogs and other information from news sources and thought leaders. And as if there weren’t already many combinations and long-tailed keywords from which to choose, we recently discovered a new one: IoMT (Internet of Medical Things)!

 

But let’s be clear about one thing: We do know the differences between the technologies—for example, a medical IoT device versus an mHealth device, or a wearable medical device versus a wireless medical device. But what we know and believe are not necessarily the same thing as what the online community thinks about them, an important concept for everybody involved—from medical device design and development companies like us that make them to the companies that distribute and sell them to the consumers and businesses that buy them.

 

As mentioned, our “Wireless Medical Device Center” section uses the term wireless medical device because when we created it a few years ago, that term seemed to be the best choice—both for what keyword research told us and from what we hear from others in our industry. However, two comments about that:

  • Technology is constantly and rapidly changing. What was a “new” technology a few years ago (or even a few months ago) can likely be considered commonplace, outdated or even obsolete today.
  • The Internet is constantly and rapidly changing. This is particularly true for how people use the Internet to find information, services and products—which has a dynamic influence in how technologies are used, perceived and innovated.

And let’s be clear: We’re not naive or inexperienced in Internet marketing (or online marketing or digital marketing or inbound marketing…yet another concept that has multiple terms for essentially the same thing!). In fact, we work closely with Internet marketing consultants that are experts in this arena.

 

That why we recently asked them to use their SEO keyword research tools to perhaps discover the way that people are actually searching online for these technologies. In particular, we wanted to see some numbers that illustrated how medical devices searches were being conducted as they related to any combination of the following:

  • IoT vs. Internet of Things (and variables we’ve seen, like MIoT)
  • Wearable vs. Wireless
  • Healthcare vs. Medical

Any type of metric analysis can get overwhelming and confusing quickly, and this exploration was certainly no exception. However, we think we found a winning choice, and here is how we reached our conclusion.

 

The Winner is Definitely Not “Wireless Medical Device”

Much to our chagrin, our currently used “wireless medical device” not only was among the poorest performing keywords, but it was the only legitimate result that used the word “wireless.” Needless to say, we will be soon revising our Website content!

 

And the Winner is…“IoT Devices”?

In terms of pure search volume (9900 monthly searches), IoT devices is unquestionably the word for which people are searching for this technology.

 

However, there is a huge flaw: It includes all IoT devices, which, of course, includes various market segments aside from medical and healthcare.

 

So the Winner is…“mHealth”?

So, then perhaps the winner is mHealth, which, with 3538 monthly searches, significantly trailed IoT devices by 22 percent. However, an argument could be made because it explicitly includes the medical/healthcare audience, it is a more relevant term, and therefore, more accurate for our purposes.

 

But again, there is a flaw: It doesn’t include the word “device” or anything to indicate the search isn’t simply to learn about mHealth as the concept of using mobile technology in a medical or healthcare context. Further, we’ve been examining the possibility that “mHealth” devices tend to be more for retail consumers, rather than for the hospital and clinical settings for which our medical devices are more geared towards.

 

OK, the Winner is…Wearable Medical Devices”!

Using the current logic to identify and eliminate IoT Devices and mHealth, we are now confident that wearable medical devices is a winner, especially when closely compared to results that included IoT or Internet of Things.

 

Although the 210 monthly searches for wearable medical devices paled those of the other words, it:

  • Is relevant. The term cannot be confused with non-medical or non-healthcare products.
  • Is capable of higher search volumes. Similar and interchangeable words like wearable medical device and wearable health devices add up to 2227 monthly searches—which still keeps it behind IoT devices (9900) and mHealth (3538)—make this a great word for the skilled SEO content creators we have.

And the Runner Up is “Healthcare IoT”

As mentioned earlier, the monthly search volumes for IoT devices is very high—and when searches include the world “wearable,” it generates monthly volumes of 2167, which is almost as good as the “winner” wearable medical devices. However, for keywords that include the very important word “device,” monthly search volumes dwindle to 320.

 

But, as mentioned earlier, there are differences between healthcare/medical IoT and wearable devices, and therefore, we will need to continue to monitor both the search volumes and real-world applications of these terms. We’ll let you know when we discover some new breakthroughs!

 


 

DeviceLab is an ISO-13485 certified medical device development company that has completed more than 100 medical device design projects of varying complexity—including medical device software development and wireless medical device design services for the newest breeds of medical IoT, mHealth and medical wearables.


Relating ‘Big Data Trends in Healthcare’ to Wearable Medical Device Design




How are Value-Based Care, CJR, BPCI and Other Medicare Reimbursement Models Increasing Demand for Wearable Medical Devices?

IT Pro Portal recently published “Five Big Data Trends in Healthcare,” a headline that may not immediately seem relevant to medical device design and development. However, it illuminates some crucial insights into both where the medical device industry current is and where it is going, particularly in respect to:

  • Value-Based Patient-Centric Care
  • The Healthcare Internet of Things
  • Predictive analytics to improve outcomes
  • Real-Time Monitoring of Patients

Value-based care (also known as “pay for performance” and “value-based purchasing”) is a payment model that incentivizes positive outcomes for acute care patients—rather than the more traditional “fee for service” model that strictly pays (or reimburses) hospitals and clinics for services rendered (regardless of outcomes).

 

For example, instead of an orthopedic surgery center being paid for performing a knee replacement procedure (regardless of how well the patient recovers), the VBC model pays the center based on clearly-defined criteria that measures performance—which requires the center to monitor a patient throughout the entire “episode of care” and to collect and report data.

 

The CJR Example

Healthcare providers that participate in Medicare and Medicaid are increasingly getting reimbursed through the VBC model, but often with a twist: bundled payments. One such program in the Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement Model, more commonly known as CJR.

 

In the CJR model, Medicaid and Medicare link payments for multiple services for an episode of care through the Bundled Payments for Care Improvement (BPCI) Initiative. Using the knee replacement surgery example again, this would mean that the surgeon and the post-surgery physical therapist get paid based on outcome of the entire episode of care—which makes monitoring, data collection and reporting even more complicated and costly.

 

Other Key Factors

Among the many other factors for why we have seen a spike in requests to develop wearable medical devices and IoT healthcare devices, VBC, BPCI and the like have played a role because they yield multiple advantages in this context, including:

  • 24/7 off-site monitoring: Connected medical devices enable healthcare providers to collect crucial data about a patient’s recovery around-the-clock and immediately know if there are any deviations from a positive outcome.
  • Convenience for patients: Connected monitoring yields an additional benefit for elderly patients and those that have difficulty with getting transportation to their doctor because it reduces the make appointments for on-site checkups, evaluations, etc.
  • Reduced cost: Connected medical devices (and the networks for connect them) can reduce or even eliminates some administrative and clinical costs because of the reasons explained in the previous two points.

As explained in the article, “Capturing extensive patient data allows for better care coordination and patient engagement,” which could not be more true. Although that concept leans more towards healthcare IT rather than medical devices, the reality is those devices—especially wearables and IoT medical devices—are often the tools to capture and transmit that data.

 


 

DeviceLab is an ISO-13485 certified medical device development company that has completed more than 100 medical device design projects of varying complexity—including medical device software development and wireless medical device design services for the newest breeds of medical IoT, mHealth and medical wearables.


DeviceLab Complete Audit, Renews ISO 13485 Certification Renewed for Fifth Consecutive Year




ISO 13485 Audit Ensures DeviceLab’s Medical Device Design and Manufacturing Meets Quality Management System Standards

ORANGE COUNTY, Calif.,  July 3—DeviceLab Inc., an Orange County medical device design and manufacturing company, today announced it has completed a three-day audit that enables renewal of its ISO 13485 certification.

 

First granted in 2012, this is the fifth time DeviceLab has successfully renewed its ISO 13485 certification.

 

As defined by the International Organization for Standardization, ISO 13485 is a standard that specifies requirements for a quality management system (QMS) where an organization needs to demonstrate its ability to provide medical devices and related services that consistently meet customer and applicable regulatory requirements.

 

Every five years, a thorough ISO 13485 audit by an independent notified body must be conducted. DeviceLab’s ISO 13485 certification audit was performed by BSI.

 

“We are pleased the ISO 13485 audit is complete,” said DeviceLab founder and CEO Dac Vu. “Being able to renew our ISO 13485 certification validates the confidence our customers have in our proficiencies with efficiently developing safe and reliable medical devices—especially now that we are increasingly practicing in the wearable medical device and healthcare IoT space.”

 


About DeviceLab

DeviceLab is an ISO-13485 certified medical device development company that has completed more than 100 medical device design projects of varying complexity—including medical device software development and wireless medical device design services for the newest breeds of medical IoT, mHealth and medical wearables.

 

For more information about DeviceLab, please visit devicelab.com.


How Can Wearable Medical Devices be Prepared for the Inevitable Time When They Become ‘Legacy’ Products?




Are There Alternative Futures for Wearable Medical Devices and IoT Healthcare Devices That Can be Addressed in the Present by Medical Device Design and Development Companies?

Wearable Medical Devices | IoT Healthcare

Fierce Healthcare recently published an article with a compelling question in its headline: “Cash for Clunkers: Could It Work for Legacy Medical Devices?

 

Rather than debating the hypothetical—which relates to Cash for Clunkers, an incentivized “federal initiative designed to get safer, more fuel-efficient cars on the road”—in the context of medical devices, perhaps a better question to explore is “How Can Medical Devices be Prepared for the Inevitable Time When They Become ‘Legacy’ Products?”

 

This question is especially relevant to almost all electronic medical devices—in particular, the newest breeds of wearable medical devices and IoT healthcare devices. After all, the realities of Moore’s Law (for which “the simplified version of this law states that processor speeds, or overall processing power for computers will double every two years”) all but guarantee a compression of the time it takes for an electronic medical device to move from new to legacy status.

According to the Fierce Healthcare article, “the average device life cycle can be as long as 20 years, but most operating systems are just six or seven years.” However, think about how quickly your mobile phone—and its OS—has gone from new to legacy? Granted, although a cynic may say that new mobile phone hardware is typically introduced to satisfy consumers’ needs to simply have a new phone, the realities of Moore’s Law make it possible for that new phone to be marketed as faster and more powerful and so forth.

 

New electronic medical devices, however, simply cannot be developed and introduced for the sake of being new. Instead, the process for moving a new or existing medical device “from concept to commercialization” can be tedious and expensive—especially if one considers the medical device regulatory hurdles that must be cleared, not to mention the remarkable challenges of getting distributors and hospitals to evaluate and adopt it.

 

Nonetheless, innovation and technology are always marching on, and it’s path is squarely aligned with new medical device design and development. Thus, as we continue enter what is clearly becoming a new era in electronic medical devices with the surging prominence of wearable medical devices and IoT healthcare devices and their unique sets of challenges (e.g., cybersecurity, connectivity), you can be sure that what’s cutting edge today WILL be legacy tomorrow (well, maybe not that soon, but you get the idea!).

 

In that context, the alternative hypothetical is again raised: “How Can Medical Devices be Prepared for the Inevitable Time When They Become ‘Legacy’ Products?” Is hoping to incentivizing hospitals to simply abandon old technology for new the answer, or should we—as the medical device design and development community—start anticipating the future (which follows the rhythms of Moore’s Law) and truly support our customers—healthcare providers—for their needs today and tomorrow?

 


 

DeviceLab is an ISO-13485 certified medical device development company that has completed more than 100 medical device design projects of varying complexity—including medical device software development and wireless medical device design services for the newest breeds of medical IoT, mHealth and medical wearables.


DeviceLab Joins CMTC’s “Made in California” Manufacturers Program




Proud to be Part of Why Orange County and California Medical Device Manufacturing Leads Nation

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Even if you’ve never been to California—but certainly if you live and work here—you might have noticed our state’s tremendous pride in its industries. Of course, we are well known for our entertainment industries for obvious reasons, and famous national campaigns to promote our nation-leading agriculture industry (e.g., commercials for the California Raisins, the California “Happy Cows”) have definitely instilled the Golden State’s productivity in the minds of millions.

 

Likewise, many have heard about the impressive scale of California’s economy. In fact, according to Forbes, “if it were a country, California’s $2.46 trillion economy would be the sixth biggest in the world behind the United Kingdom.” But what might not be as commonly known—even for Californians—is our state’s leadership in manufacturing—including medical device manufacturing.

 

According to Bloomberg View, “No state comes close to California in manufacturing”—which, according to Area Development, manufacturers employ more than 1.2 million people in California, which accounts for almost 9 percent of the work force.

 

VC, Innovation are Key Drivers for California Medical Device Manufacturing Leadership

Along with California being a leader for manufacturing in general, it also leads in medical device manufacturing. According to QMed:

 

“…the state is still unparalleled when it comes to sheer size, boasting more medical device companies and workers—by far—than any other. The state’s device industry is considerably bigger than that of Minnesota and Massachusetts.”

 

We definitely appreciated QMed’s nod to our region’s contributions, which included mentioning how “Orange County has long been one of the biggest medical device clusters in the country.”

 

However, we do feel that there’s more to the sunny picture of California manufacturing than there may seem—particularly regarding how much our medical device design and development services (especially with the surging demand for wearable medical devices) play roles in the medical products we manufacture. This is due to two highly related areas in which California is also a national leader:

 

  • Patents: Also according to AJED, “California ranks first among states in the total number of patents” and is “second in the nation in patents granted to independent inventors per 1000 workers, at over double the national average.”

 

In short, the boost California VCs give innovators to get patents and seek partners to bring their new medical devices “from concept to commercialization” is a huge reason why our California medical device manufacturers lead the nation.  

 

These are some of the reasons why DeviceLab is delighted to have been asked to join the California Manufacturing Technology Consulting’s “Made in California” program. As a California medical device manufacturer, we are proud to support the program and be a small part of why our state is a leader in this context.

 


 

DeviceLab is an ISO-13485 certified medical device development company that has completed more than 100 medical device design projects of varying complexity—including medical device software development and wireless medical device design services for the newest breeds of medical IoT, mHealth and medical wearables.