Things are moving quickly at the worlds leading supplier of cellular machine to machine (M2M) communication modules following some recent awards and take over by Gemalto (a global digital security provider with products in market that are being used by more than a billion people). The medical device market seems finally ready to make the move and the company will be exhibiting in November at Medica (the worlds largest medical trade fair) as part of Qualcomm’s first exhibition floor presence.
The talk by Manfred Kube, mHealth Business Development for Cinterion, was titled “Providing the ‘m’ in mHealth, M2M Technology for a Healthier and Safer Life” and after a quick nod to the underlying drivers and demand:
Manfred outlined the spectrum of mHealth devices:
Whilst I think this is where we’re at today, my view of the smartphone as the sensor and remote control in a patients life makes it impossible for me to see a future where this isn’t all a lot more joined up. From trials I’ve been involved in I have seen the considerable value that can be created by control of and interaction with these specialised embedded devices via background applications that a patients smartphone is capable of running. To me the feedback/interactivity element is proving so invaluable that I think the ideal solution is actually an interconnected healthcare solution that at its core incorporates interactivity between smart mobiles and embedded devices:
Manfred then shared an overview and some examples of the diversity of business applications that are already benefiting from the use of M2M in the areas of utilities, transportation, tracing and tracking etc and how the proven attributes can be utilized for Healthcare:
In his “Connecting Medical Devices” slide he did a great job summarising the pros/cons of the different ways of connecting devices and engaging patients with services:
Although I personally would have added one more opportunity to this: a feedback loop to a patients smartphone. From a trial of an embedded wireless device that we recently completed I think it’s clear: the ability to influence patient behaviour as a result of data generated by biomonitoring offers an enormous potential to improve the patient experience and clinical merit of an intervention. The following image captures this view of mine:
None of this obviously detracts from the attraction of Cinterion as a wireless partner to medical device manufacturers for whom the type approved solutions must be compelling. Their range of experiences include highly demanding secure situations (eg. payments), on device processing and storage (enabling things like remote software updates etc), processes to manage a wide range of eventualities (eg. Jamming detection), what’s more their migration path to future technologies ensures that they can help protect the investments of medical device manufacturers who partner with them.
But there really is nothing like a case study and hands on with a product to give partners the assurance they need and these came from explanations of the (already in market) BioTronik Pacemaker/Implanted Cardiac Device monitoring product:
Aerotel’s Concept Device:
Healthimo’s Glucomon device:
And the GSMA award winning Philips Respironics System One:
In Manfred’s sign off the lessons from these implementations was clear: “Technology is not enough – management of complex value chain and processes is necessary”.
This blog post is part of a series of mHealth reviews from the 2nd Mobile Healthcare Industry Summit 2010. Click here to get the full review.