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Technology Advisor: 'Internet-of-Me' is reshaping medical devices

June 11, 2016
Personalized medicine is
becoming more than a
buzz word
From the June 2016 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

By Bipin Thomas

The empowered consumer in health care is better demonstrated by the U.K. National Health Service’s mantra “nothing about me without me.” Every experience is becoming a personalized experience by fully engaging the consumer. Even ordinary devices, from weight scales to glucometers, are becoming intelligent devices.

The medical device companies are going beyond just providing products, to engaging a consumer-centric care management service specifically tailored for you. The companies that succeed in this new Internet-of-Me era will become the next generation of household names.

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Wearable devices and health monitoring devices assisting patients are common things now. Chatty medical devices are extremely appealing for patients of any age. The devices are becoming user-centric and capable of transmitting health statistics to your smart-phone as well as to your provider. Internet-of-Me is building a tightly-coupled fabric that is woven into our daily lives.

As these devices and services become more tightly coupled with our cell phones and our preferences, they gather an extraordinary amount of data about us. In the Internet-of- Me, this data is being used to identify consumer preferences and allow smart devices to make decisions about what the consumer will want, and take action on those decisions. This is a technology paradigm shift toward a “me”-centered universe — the ultimate consumerism.

It is even more important to launch smart wireless medical devices that can be used by patients without any setup or learning curve. Medical device companies must design every product with user experience and personalization in mind. The devices are going to be increasingly used by patients at home in an unsupervised environment. The device must work the moment the patient gets it, with no setup, no assembly, no downloads and no syncing required. The device should be used in the exact same way as the regular non-connected version of the device, so it’s simple for the user. The battery in these devices should last for multiple months without needing to be recharged.

Spirotel is a wireless spirometer designed and manufactured by Medical International Research. It is designed with personalization and easy-to-use features. The user can personalize it with the help of a digital diary. The digital diary is capable of asking tailored questions, such as, how many times have you experienced asthma symptoms today? If the first test reading is not within the preferred range, the device automatically prompts the user to repeat the test and exhale with greater effort.

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