Tag Archives: wearable medical devices

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 What was a “new” technology a few years ago (or even a few months ago) can likely be considered commonplace, outdated or even obsolete today.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

Top 3 Medical Device Design and Development News and Blogs of the Week: March 5, 2017

Orange County medical device design & development company DeviceLab shares top news and blogs the week ending 3/5/2017.

DeviceLab is keenly interested in diverse aspects that relate to medical device design and development—in particular, mHealth and healthcare IoT.

 

When we find information particularly exceptional or interesting, we often share it on our @devicelab Twitter feed (which we encourage you to follow). This is a weekly post that shares the best medical device design and development information that we found from the previous week.

 

1. Gartner Identifies the Top 10 Internet of Things Technologies for 2017 and 2018

Each of the 10 IoT technologies merit their inclusion on the list, however, there were some recognizable patterns to what made the list. Arguably, those 10 IoT technologies could be put into four categories (with plenty of cross-category fluidity for several of them), which is interesting it illustrates how IoT is a system of discrete technologies.

  • Hardware
    • IoT Processors
  • Software
    • IoT Operating Systems
  • Networks
    • IoT Security
    • Low-Power, Short-Range IoT Networks
    • Low-Power, Wide-Area Networks
  • Platforms
    • IoT Analytics
    • IoT Device (Thing Management)
    • Event Stream Processing
    • IoT Platforms
    • IoT Standards and Ecosystems

If you further consider the list/categories in terms of medical IoT and mHealth devices, it’s not difficult to appreciate how their design and development will rely upon companies that have proven experience in each—especially with platforms like our Apollo™ wireless medical device platform. Draw your own conclusions about how well we feel we meet these criteria!

 

2. IoT Sensors Critical to Successful Health IT Infrastructure

This is noteworthy because if the previous “Top 10 Internet of Things Technologies” article had been written with a more narrow focus on medical and healthcare IoT, it would have likely included IoT sensors on the list, and for good reason! After all, as this article points out, the healthcare IoT market is projected to growth 26 percent by 2022, much of which will be driven by technologies that use IoT sensors.

 

3. Which Low Power IoT Network protocol will prevail? Bluetooth, LoRaWAN, NB-IoT, or SigFox

Similarly, this is noteworthy because the “Top 10 Internet of Things Technologies” did address low-power IoT networking—twice! What also makes this is interesting is the “comments” section creates almost as many answers and it does questions.

 


 

DeviceLab’s ideal balance of proven experience and cutting-edge ideas for medical device development includes mHealth/wireless medical device design services and medical software development. Contact us to learn how we can advance your medical IoT device from concept to commercialization!

Breaking Down the ‘Top 10 Medical Wearables of 2016’

What Does This List Tell Us About the Present and Future for Medical Weara-bles, Medical IoT and mHealth?

 

The end of every calendar year brings a flurry of “Top Things of the Year” lists, and 2016 is no excep-tion. However, one difference 2016 is different than other years is that wireless medical devices (which include medical IoT devices and mHealth devices) are now included in that paradigm more than ever.

 

That’s not just hyperbole, either. Except for a slight hiccup in 2014, Google search results for annual “Top 10 Medical Wearables” have steadily increased each year for the past five years. In fact, since 2011, search results have grown nearly 41%!

 

Even more impressive is that this year’s growth by far exceeds any other year…even eclipsing 2013’s previous of 11.8% by 5.4 percentage points!

 

Below is a chart of the last five years’ Google search results for “Top 10 Medical Wearables of” and their growth (or shrinkage) rates:

 

2016: 19.1 M (+17.2) (40.4)
2015: 16.3 M (+4.5%)
2014: 15.6 M (-3.1%)
2013: 16.1 M (11.8%)
2012: 14.4 M (+5.9%)
2011: 13.6 M

 

One such list is GineersNow.com’s Top 10 Medical Wearables of 2016. Their concise and well thought out list admittedly is presented “without any ranking and in no particular order,” so analyzing it in those terms are immediately eliminated.

 

However, the purpose of analyzing the list is not intended to find agreement or disagreement with how it’s presented—much less what is actually on it. Rather, it is to glean insights from medical wearable de-vice experts about the current wireless medical device marketing and what is possibly in store for 2017 and beyond. Here are some key findings.

 

Wearable Medical Devices That Measure, Monitor or Provide Diagnostics are Dominant

 

Despite offering a diverse range of wearables, 80% had one thing in common: they explicitly performed some type of measurement, monitoring or diagnostic capability for relaying to the either the user (per-son wearing the device), the user’s doctor, or both. (It’s possible the all can or do perform these func-tions, but the list promote them as key features).

 

Although 30% of the devices on the list perform some type of blood pressure or pulse monitoring, the more intriguing number is with what percentage can monitor insulin and blood glucose (20% of the en-tire list and a quarter of devices that measure or monitor).

 

The takeaway: First, wearable medical devices that can capture, interpret and share user data are clearly leading the way. But, the fact that 25% of the device capable of doing this are also related to managing diabetes should come as no surprise considering that it is one of the leading causes of death in the United States.

 

Wearable Medical Devices That Can Control or Release Medications are Getting Traction

 

Two of the medical wearables are designed to release medications (e.g., glucose or opiates)—and natu-rally, both also perform measurement, monitoring or diagnostics to determine the appropriate release volumes and frequencies.

 

The takeaway: Being able to use digital technology to precisely management medications has tremen-dous benefits, particularly with the challenge of getting a patient to take medications as directed.

 

Wearable Medical Devices That Can Aid in Pain Management are Also Getting Traction

 

Pain management is a crucial aspect of healthcare, but unfortunately is one that is difficult to diagnose and treat because of its relatively subjective and fleeting nature. And that is why it’s interesting to see that 20% of the wearable devices on the list are related to pain management, either for the monitoring and release of pain medications or for monitoring physical therapies for analysis by a doctor.

 

The takeaway: Mismanagement of pain can have devastating results. At best, the person that experi-ences the pain has a diminished quality of life. At worst, the person does not use pain medication properly and delays recovery or develops dependencies. Wearable devices that that improve pain man-agement have a tremendous market potential

 

DeviceLab has the experience and capabilities to bring your wireless medical device from concept to commercialization. Contact us to learn more

Who Wants IoT Medical Devices? Everybody, Apparently

Interest and Demand for Wearable Medical Devices Transcends Many Demographics

 

Writing blogs about IoT medical devices and wearable medical devices requires a lot of reading about those very topics. And although some of what has been recently published is worthy of response on a piece-by-piece basis, sometimes taking a step back to “see the forest for the trees,” to coin a phrase, can be every bit as insight-ful, especially for IoT medical device inventors and innovators. This is particularly true for grasping the tremen-dous and widespread surge in popularity of wearable and IoT medical devices.

 

The headline proposes a simple question: Who wants IoT medical devices? The answer is both simple yet com-plex. Most simply, the answer is “seemingly everybody.” But more specifically, the answer paints an intriguing portrait of the IoT medical device landscape that includes a diverse range of backgrounds, demographics and geographies. Just one day’s worth of daily headlines from November 28, 2016 addressed supports this notion. Among them…

 

Seniors and Elder Care

 

Targeting the Untapped Market of Wearables for Elder Care explained how the growing population of U.S. sen-iors (estimated to be 19 percent of population by 2030) is primed for increased usage of wearable medical de-vices—especially as advancements in nanotechnology and “smart clothes” continue to progress.

 

What the article doesn’t mention is that 2030’s seniors (defined as a person 65 years old or older) is today’s 50-something—or put another way, a person that is not adverse to embracing electronic technologies. So, if there was ever a demographic that wireless medical device inventors and innovators might want to consider when dreaming up new wearable medical devices, this is certainly one of them.

 

India’s Healthcare Industry

 

View from India: Educate Today for Tomorrow’s Internet of Medical Things is very much a condensed argument for numerous advantages and solutions that IoT medical devices provide…in particular, the enablement of self-examination and the opportunity to expand connected healthcare to rural areas.

 

Of course, these concepts are not limited to Indian healthcare, but instead, are quite universal. Here in the Unit-ed States, self-examination not only is convenient and a crucial part of prevention and treatment for various health conditions, but it also helps reduce healthcare costs. Further, remote monitoring not only is useful for ru-ral areas, but also for seniors and others in urban/suburban areas that don’t have the desire or capability to make frequent trips to a doctor.

 

The Retail Fitness Tracker Market

 

Although retail fitness trackers might seem inconsistent when discussing IoT technology as it relates to healthcare, Are Wearable Fitness Devices Effective Enough? opens up some interesting discussions.

 

The article examines a recent Journal of the American Medical Association study that indicated these devices are “less effective at encouraging users to lose weight compared to a simple diet plan and exercise regime.” Be that as it may, it does imply that consumers simply haven’t been introduced to the right fitness tracker (or fitness-related wearable device) that will encourage them to take an interest in their health…which could help them avoid some of the things for which IoT medical devices are being developed!

 

DeviceLab has the experience and capabilities to bring your wireless medical device from concept to commercialization. Contact us to learn more.