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Three Connected Medical Device Stakeholders

Connected wireless medical devices bring benefits to three key stakeholders in the healthcare industry: Patients, clinicians, and medical device manufacturers.

For patients, connected devices have really opened the capabilities of telehealth. Rather than a patient having to go to a clinic for care, they can use these devices at home to gather the data that a clinician is going to need to either be able to perform a proper diagnosis, monitor their progres,s or to support them in therapy.

But it’s not just the video conference. Now, the clinician can actually see the data for the patient and make better diagnoses or provide better advice – that’s one key benefit.

The second one is that the devices that a patient brings home can improve over time. Wireless and cloud connectivity allows a medical device manufacturer to improve the product over time through over-the-air software updates, without having to bring the device back in.

Those are just two key benefits, but there are various others.

For clinicians, they’re getting the benefit, also telehealth, and the benefit would be efficiency – rather than having the patient come in as often, they can have those conversations with the patient, they can look at their data, they can see the progress that they’re making and provide better care.

They’re also able to see trends. Not just a snapshot in time of what’s happening to the patient, but how that patient is improving or declining over time. Is the patient being adherent to a therapy? Clinicians get much better visibility into that patient’s lifestyle and how they’re doing with their therapies to be able to provide better service to them.

And the third beneficiary, of course, is the medical device manufacturer. Connectivity to the cloud gives the medical device manufacturer access to critical data that helps them understand how their product is being used, helps them understand how to improve the existing product through over-the-air software updates, but also how to develop better products down the line.

It helps them understand how other things are impacting the efficacy of a product, whether it’s demographic information or lifestyle decisions. Are those things impacting how efficacious a therapy is, or the kind of diagnostic data that’s being recorded?

Medical device manufacturers can now launch a product earlier, rather than waiting until all of the features of the product are developed. A medical device manufacturer can choose a core set of features that are really critical, launch the product with those features, and then continuously improve the product over time through software releases.

And all of that can be done remotely. It can be done periodically and you don’t have to go through a new 510k with any of these changes. Sometimes you can go through the process of letter to file, sometimes you can do a catch-up 510k. You may have to do a 510k , but the product won’t have to come back to be able to launch those new features.

There are lots of benefits to incorporating cloud connectivity and wireless functionality into your medical device products. If your medical device is not cloud connected, you risk obsolescence, and we should talk. I’m José Bohorquez from Bold Type.