IoMT: Digital revolution in healthcare
8 October 2019
Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) means connecting devices to the Internet and making them accessible via the Internet connection. But what added value does this technology provide patients? And what challenges does IoMT present to manufacturers and suppliers of medical technology?
Internet of Medical Things - the added value for patients
If IoT technologies and IoT scenarios are used in the context of regulated medical technology, this is referred to as the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT). Device software and systems are networked, enabling data to be stored and processed. It is also possible to design new services based on this data. While IoT is often used in the course of plant maintenance, energy optimization and system management, IoMT application scenarios are, for example, the simplification of home care, prevention, optimization of logistics and service of medical devices.
- Improved medication management
- Reduced costs
- More pleasant experiences for patients
- More efficient diagnostic procedures and treatment
- Remote monitoring of chronic conditions
- Improved handling of diseases
Because of the forecast expenditure in the health sector for the next few years, a reduction in costs must be sought. A study by Deloitte in 2018 gives impressive figures: in 2050 the number of people over 65 will double and global healthcare costs will rise by around 4.2% per year. At the same time, Deloitte expects the market for networked medical devices to reach USD 52.2 billion in 2022, a significant increase.
IoMT: Change management for healthcare
To meet the exploding costs and adapt to the changing user groups, a fundamental change in the health care system is needed. The Deloitte survey predicts a shift towards an understanding of billing and services that focuses on benefits rather than performance (Value-Based Care). The Internet of Medical Things can be one of the essential foundations for this transformation. With this Value-Based Care idea, new drivers and fundamentals for the development of medical products emerge:
- The needs and usage context of the end-user of a device are at the forefront to generate the best possible patient benefit.
- Devices and platforms must become interoperable. Connections between and to devices, or the transmission of information itself, must be secure to guarantee a high level of trust in CyberSecurity.
- Usage context, interoperability and security increase confidence in devices, solutions and systems and promote acceptance for the use and distribution of IoMT applications.
Challenges for manufacturers and suppliers
For manufacturers or marketers of medical or IVD products, the IoMT is predicting a change in their offering, development activities and business model. Initially, IoMT applications are used to generate data. Only the use of this data creates value. This means that companies are increasingly recruiting data scientists whose results either optimize services or generate benefits for the user. In short, companies will invest in their digital talent. Companies' understanding of values is changing to the effect that they no longer see themselves as product developers/manufacturers, but as service providers who create benefits for users with and around their products.
The regulatory world must adapt to the speed of the development of software solutions in order not to stand in the way as innovation inhibitors and cost drivers. For example, the FDA recently announced that it intends to adopt the software as a medical device (SaMD) to the requirements of software development and has developed a digital action plan for this purpose, which you can find on the FDA's website.
IoMT - an exciting topic? We would be happy to advise you in detail in this area. We look forward to hearing from you.