Ouch! Designing IoT Infrastructure for Healthcare Might Hurt but the Gain is Worth the Pain

As much as it may hurt to implement, there is lots of opportunity for digital transformation in healthcare, and IoT can sooth some of the pain. Anywhere you have gauges, meters, people with clipboards, employees physically monitoring activities or patients, or sign-in/out sheets there is an opportunity to implement IoT. Advances in wireless asset tracking and monitoring are bringing new capabilities to almost every facet of healthcare. From patient monitoring and care management to staff optimization and key equipment tracking, the delivery of care is being revolutionized.

Use cases include:

  • Patient sensors for real-time monitoring, wandering and elopement alerts.
  • Badge sensors and control devices to limit access to areas, cabinets, and even smart medicine dispensers.
  • Asset tags, beacons and sensors for asset tracking and inventory monitoring & management.
  • Maintenance sensors for supply and clean-up notification.
  • Comfort sensors that integrate with building controls systems for energy utilization and cost savings.
  • Station or desk occupancy sensors for workspace utilization, scheduling, smart lighting, and more.

These use cases all depend on connectivity and computing at the edge – where low power wireless devices, tags and sensors must gather data and then communicate with the cloud – reliably and securely. Further, the best IoT infrastructures will also be open and multi-use so the solutions don’t end up stove-piped, hard to maintain, and tough to integrate.

Outcomes of these IoT automated data collection and processing systems include improved patient experiences, improved health outcomes, reduced costs, improved efficiency, increased employee satisfaction, and an improved workplace environment. Concrete examples include:

  • Cold Chain Monitoring – guaranteeing the effectiveness and safety of medicines and vaccines from the manufacturing facility all the way to the patient.
  • Remote, non-invasive vitals (i.e. temperature) monitoring that is continuous, real-time, and with no need to wake the patient for overnight readings.
  • Tracking of critical assets – wheelchairs, crash carts, oxygen tanks, beds, etc.
  • Employee tracking for scheduling, alerting and detail optimization.
  • Maintenance and utilization sensing – liquid and spill alerts, inventory management and supply replenishment alerts in patient rooms and public restrooms.

Why now, Why Rigado?

Now is the perfect time to build and implement a Connected Healthcare solution. What has been a complicated landscape of complex technology and endless POCs is starting to shake out. With the evolution of Bluetooth (including Bluetooth Low Energy) and the greatly improved performance, coverage distance, and battery life, it has become the protocol of choice for smart asset tracking. Further, unlike some other technologies, Bluetooth can send monitoring data (temperature, pressure, humidity, etc.) in addition to location. It also works seamlessly with every mobile device and handheld computer – integrating easily with other solutions. Further, BLE devices continue to drop in price and are becoming significantly more precise.

Whether in a hospital, a healthcare facility, or an out-patient monitoring environment, creating a secure edge infrastructure for the collection of patient and asset information can be complicated. Further, compliance with data regulations complicates the technology issues. Rigado has unique experience with the design and development of BLE-based healthcare solutions that leverage edge gateways for secure and reliable delivery of data to our customers’ cloud applications directly. This allows our customers to build solutions that are easier to implement and maintain, especially at scale, while reducing data compliance issues. For these reasons, Connected Healthcare solution providers choose to build on Rigado, leveraging our Cascade infrastructure as the foundation of their edge connectivity and computing.

In addition to the general benefits of using Rigado Cascade for your connected healthcare solution our customers enjoy these specific benefits in Connected Healthcare applications:

  • Direct connection from your sensors to your cloud – minimizing data storage locations and compliance issues.
  • Certified solutions from our partners that are 21CFR compliant and meet CDC, FDA, VFC and Local State Requirements.
  • More than just location data, with sensing, monitoring and edge computing for local automated control.
  • Containerized edge application environment and variety of Bluetooth sensor options allowing a single IoT infrastructure to run many Connected Healthcare applications: patient vitals sensing and monitoring, asset tracking (wheelchairs, crash carts, etc.), access control, building systems integration, cold chain monitoring, smart lighting, and more.

Want More…

Want to hear more about IoT in Healthcare? Join us at HIMSS19 and IoT in Action in Orlando on February 11 – 14. We will have experts on hand to talk you through designing your IoT solution using best practices and all the latest sensors and gateway technology.

You can also find out more by registering for and attending our upcoming webinar “Healthcare Asset Monitoring at Scale Using BLEFebruary 12th at 9am PT. Paul DellaVilla, Onset Product Manager, will walk us through all the critical considerations in developing a solution that is reliable, cost effective and meets CDC, FDA, VFC and Local State Requirements. You won’t want to miss this, register today.

You might also want to read a great IoT in Healthcare article, “The blueprint for IoT infrastructure in healthcare,” written by Justin Rigling, CTO at Rigado, and published in Healthcare Facilities Today.