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

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 What was a “new” technology a few years ago (or even a few months ago) can likely be considered commonplace, outdated or even obsolete today.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