Tag Archives: Healthcare IoT

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 What was a “new” technology a few years ago (or even a few months ago) can likely be considered commonplace, outdated or even obsolete today.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.

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.

Contrasting Healthcare Cybersecurity Risks Speculation with Reality

How Hackers are Costing Hospitals Millions of Dollars Possibly Hindering Wearable Medical Device and IoT Healthcare Innovations That Could Advance Patient Care

Medical Device Cybersecurity

In our last blog, we discussed an article, “Hackers Will Target Hospitals Like Never Before in 2017.” This time, we are again discussing an article big, scary headline that relates to hackers and healthcare cybersecurity—but with a twist.


The twist is that last week’s headline used the auxiliary verb “will” to speculate about potential cybersecurity risks, as where this week’s past-tense headline reflects on the harsh realities and outcomes of those risks: “Hackers Hit 320% More Healthcare Providers in 2016 than in 2015, Per HHS Data.”


If indeed both headlines are accurate, then a certain logic dictates hackers will hit at least 321% more healthcare providers in 2017 than in 2016. But it’s not the numbers themselves that are most interesting; instead, what’s most interesting is where they came from: the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.


HHS apparently takes hospital hacking pretty seriously, as illustrated in the article:


“$23,505,300 was paid to the HHS Office for Civil Rights in 2016 to resolve HIPAA violations that occurred at 13 provider organizations during 2012-2013.”


Obviously, HHS’ concern is for the patient privacy—and violations are obviously costly…and presumably getting costlier. After all, if the average fine during 2012–13 was more than $1.8 million, and if the frequency of hacking continues to increase as expected, then presumably, HIPAA violations and the millions of dollars in fines will increase too.


Along with the unfortunate loss of privacy for some patients, there’s also the unfortunate economic reality involved in this: Somebody will have to pay, which usually means the customer (read: patients).


Extending this notion further, there’s also the economic impact on hospitals being willing to adopt new technologies—such as wearable medical devices and IoT healthcare devices—that require access to those same hackable networks and arguably make them more vulnerable. Not only does this hurt patients that might benefit from hospitals that might otherwise be more inclined to adopt wearables, but of course, it arguably slows innovation, which certainly does not benefit medical device designers and developers.


The article adds a point in this context:


“Risks are no longer just about loss or theft of data. The ransomware attacks of 2016 show how security incursions can restrict the availability of health data to providers, impacting their ability to deliver care.”


If there is a silver lining, it’s that healthcare and technological innovation are difficult forces to slow down. From the doctors that commit their lives to healing others to the medical device designers that thrive on making products better, faster, smaller, etc. for those doctors, one can hope that the good guys will continue to keep a step ahead of the bad guys. The pivotal factor, of course, is cybersecurity—a topic we’ve also been following closely in this blog.


However, as we said last week, this leads to the current technological Gordian knot in our industry: Digital security technologies like Blockchain can protect the good guys from the bad guys—but it also can make it harder to protect the good guys from the bad guys. Watch this space for more on this subject…



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.