Category Archives: HealthTech

Is 3D Printing The Technological Advancement In Bionic Prosthetics We’ve Wanted All Along?

Is 3D Printing The Technological Advancement In Bionic Prosthetics We’ve Wanted All Along?

3D Printing Bionic Prosthetics

The field of bionic prosthetics is a hot topic in the healthcare industry that has seen a rapid increase in attention and awareness over the past few decades. It is a bold solution to the long-standing problem of improving the quality of life for amputees. Whether through an unfortunate accident at home or through something devastating like war, these individuals find that life has become much harder with a limb that we take for granted is suddenly non-existent.

Sure, we cheer on and value those amputees who don’t let their circumstances get in the way of living their life to the fullest. We are bombarded with examples of these brave individual on a daily basis thanks to the advent of social media. With that said, we can agree that fully functional prosthetic limbs would do wonders to make life easier for these individuals.

3D Printing

One of the most promising advancements in the field of bionic prosthetics is the application of 3D printing towards the creation of customized and durable artificial limbs that patients can use to resume their quality of life. As great as this is, why is there a need for a new technological advancement in this niche of medical technology?

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(Infographic Source: visualcapitalist.com)

Currently, bionic prosthetics take an extended period of time to make and can cost up to tens of thousands of dollars per limb. Even with co-pay and insurance, many families simply do not have the funds available to cover these incredibly high costs. This creates a huge problem that is in high demand of an affordable, fast, and safe alternative to the creation and distribution of bionic prosthetics.

Much like the space race between USA and Russia to see who could reach certain space discoveries and achievements first, there is a similar race going on between multiple individuals and organizations to be the first to make a difference in the world with 3D-printed prosthetics while making a significant profit from it. The game-changer, however, is the accessibility of 3D printing. Anybody can buy the equipment and materials, only needing their own imagination & creativity to be competitive.

A shining example of this principle in action is Joel Gibbard, an engineer in his 20s who has used his company Open Bionics to achieve several ‘world firsts’ in this niche. Late last year, he has successfully fit a person, Daniel Melville, born without a hand with a prosthetic socket that was 3D scanned and printed. This socket was then joined by a robotic hand that provided Daniel with complete autonomous control of it. He could even ‘feel’ as it was a normal limb!

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Open Bionics has since moved on to create bionic hands that are customized and entirely 3D printed for the patient in mind. For the children out there who often have to go through painful physical rehab, Walt Disney has paired up Open Bionics to provide bionic hands that are made after their favourite movie characters!

What you and I are seeing right now is just the very beginning, and indeed the scientific community has praised innovators in this niche for the progress that it has made. However, the battle is not over yet. The fact of the matter is that the technology is merely exploratory in development, and more work needs to be done in order to fully validate this technology. Factors such as functionality, benefits, durability given repeated use over a long period of time, and ‘rejection’ by an individual’s anatomy need to be studied in further detail. It is at this moment that innovators are tinkering with every last detail of these 3D printed bionic prosthetics in order to make them a regular practice in your nearest hospital.

Expect to see developments in 3D printed prosthetics for the legs, followed by individual digits on the hands and legs. Some people are even trying to go as far as to create 3D-printed organs that can replace missing or defective organs in the human body, but this is a far more exploratory idea within 3D printing that needs serious research and development before human testing can be done.

In conclusion, 3D printing may very well be the next big thing in the field of medical technology that we are looking for. With the unbelievable amount of promise it has shown to date and the potential it has to save costs on the patient’s end and the hospital’s end, we can expect to see rapid advancements within this field over the next 10 years.

By Thomas Zakharov

Cloud Computing Then & Now

Cloud Computing Then & Now

The Evolving Cloud 

From as early as the onset of modern computing, the possibility of resource distribution has been explored. Today’s cloud computing environment goes well beyond what most could even have imagined at the birth of modern computing and innovation in the field isn’t slowing.

A Brief History

Matillion’s interactive timeline of cloud begins with the first stored-program computer, the Manchester Baby, developed in 1947. Quickly, time sharing became necessary as the 250 computers available in 1955 were rented to users in efforts to ensure as little downtime as possible. When packet switching was introduced in 1960, the foundation for resource sharing and the internet was laid and shortly thereafter, in a speech at MIT, John McCarthy suggested that computer resources would one day be shared like any other service.

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Through the ‘70s, ‘80s, and ‘90s, the world saw the development of the internet and mainstreaming of computers, and in 1996 the term cloud computing was first used by George Favaloro and Sean O’Sullivan, executives at Compaq Computer. During the 2000s mobile and smartphone technology took off and very quickly access to the cloud was common. Of course, the last five years have seen the greatest advances in cloud computing, as seemingly with all technology, it develops exponentially. Global giants such as Amazon, Google, and Apple rely heavily on the cloud, and in 2013 it was estimated global spending on cloud services reached $47 billion.

The Evolution

From digital assistants to smart cars to virtual reality to the internet of things, all of the latest modernizations rely on cloud technology. But so too do most of the traditional services individuals and organizations rely on. Although we’ve seen new products and services focused on managing money, the traditional banking institutions are developing their own services and the environment is nearly unrecognizable to that of ten years ago. Who can even imagine a world without internet banking?

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Healthcare similarly has advanced, and not only in the laboratories and offices of pioneering doctors and scientists. Large hospital and patient management institutions are taking up the reigns and following suit, albeit more slowly, and patient care programs are being implemented to combine the benefits of modern devices such as wearables with healthcare regimens. Already two years ago, an HIMSS Analytics survey of cloud adoption in healthcare organizations found 83% of those surveyed were using cloud services. Common uses included the hosting of clinical applications and data, health information exchange, and backup and data recovery.

And the benefits cloud computing promises education are immense. Already, cloud technology is changing the way students learn and extending access to schooling into remote and impoverished areas. Though schools and universities are adopting cloud technologies themselves, many startups such as Education Modified, Kiko Labs, and HSTRY, are coming up with new methods and platforms which enhance and further learning.

Into the Future

It’s predicted that the cloud service market will be worth around $108 billion next year, and by 2020 the number of connected devices worldwide is expected to reach 25 billion. Further estimates suggest cloud computing offers green benefits too, and US organizations moving to the cloud before 2020 will save $12.3 billion in energy costs. Gartner points to a hybrid cloud infrastructure in the coming years, and says Ed Anderson, “I start to think of a multi-cloud environment as a foundation for a next wave of applications.” And according to Forrester Research, we’re on the cusp of the second wave of cloud computing, with service providers focused on next-gen applications that require omnichannel support, time-based analytics, and micro service support. The barrier to entering the cloud seems likely to shrink significantly due to adjusted compliance requirements and regulations, and although security already is a primary focus, with the expansion of cloud, its importance will be magnified. Finally, due to the high demand for cloud services, service providers will soon, if not already, be building next-generation architecture on hyper-converged platforms further reducing maintenance costs and speeding up scalability.

By Jennifer Klostermann

The Cancer Moonshot: Collaboration Is Key

The Cancer Moonshot: Collaboration Is Key

Cancer Moonshot

In his final State of the Union address in January 2016, President Obama announced a new American “moonshot” effort: finding a cure for cancer. The term “moonshot” comes from one of America’s greatest achievements, the moon landing. If the scientific community can achieve that kind of feat, then surely it can rally around the goal of finding a cure for cancer. President Obama put his second-in-command, Vice President Joe Biden, in charge of “Mission Control” for the cancer moonshot efforts.

Though this is certainly an ambitious undertaking, what’s encouraging is that the project isn’t starting from scratch. Researchers and clinicians have already made remarkable progress in the forms of research, clinical trials, drug development and more. There already have been many masterful achievements that propel this effort to its goal. For example, the successful mapping of the human genome nearly two decades ago provided a tremendous jumping-off point for customized cancer treatments and potential cures. But in order to land this moonshot, there must be significant innovation in how all of these stakeholders communicate, collaborate and share important information.

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(Image Source: Shutterstock)

Silo-breaking: as vital as funding?

Two of the biggest challenges of this project are to provide increased funding to the strategic participants, and to increase collaboration and information sharing among the numerous research teams and clinicians all around the world. Vice President Biden has said that he wants to “break down silos and bring all the cancer fighters together—to work together, share information, and end cancer as we know it.” The goal is to double the pace of progress, or as he put it: “to make a decade worth of advances in five years.

Those of us in the cloud computing community are especially invested in the efforts to increase coordination, eliminate silos and open up access to information. These things can only be done through improving upon and innovating technology solutions, so that storing and managing data doesn’t kill productivity. Let’s consider some of the issues that will affect what underlying technologies can be utilized to further drive collaboration and support access to information.

Protecting massive amounts of private data

A project of this magnitude will have massive amounts of data, generated by a multitude of sources. These large data sets must use common data elements (data descriptors, or metadata) to ensure that researchers are comparing apples to apples. Toward this end, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) has developed the Common Data Elements (CDE) to serve as a controlled vocabulary of data descriptors for cancer research. The CDE will help facilitate data interchange and inter-operability between cancer research centers.

Big data and learning algorithms will enable researchers to identify patterns and anomalies that, for instance, may help to identify patients who can benefit from standard treatments, or whose tumors require a different approach. Given that these large data sets will contain highly personal patient health information that can’t be anonymized, they will need to be protected with the strongest measures for data privacy to protect patients‘ rights and to maintain HIPAA compliance.

Preserving data integrity through controlled access

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Of course, data integrity is of paramount concern. The data and other forms of information will come from numerous sources, and technology solutions will be needed to ensure that it maintains its consistency—that it isn’t inappropriately accessed and changed or corrupted. This means that access control to research information is critical. Yes, the project aims to increase sharing of data, but it needs to be shared with the right people in the right ways. Much of the information will be in documents, not databases, and this means access control, version control, and document retractions and expirations are important features for the underlying collaboration technology. And of course, all this must be done with strict HIPAA compliancy and patient privacy.

Setting content free to get work done

The time spent on collaborating and sharing information has ballooned by 50 percent or more over the last two decades, according to Harvard Business Review. Too much time is wasted trying to piece together disconnected information among team members who are scattered across the globe, leaving little time for actual work to get done.

Teams need virtual workspaces built for specific business and clinical research processes. Think in terms of flowing content across the extended ecosystem, instead of just improving systems of record behind the firewall. To take on this initiative, the clinical research community requires what some industry analysts call “systems of engagement,” meaning information only comes to life when it is put to use and acted upon. But many technologies fail to account for specific use cases (such as global clinical research) or the security and compliance needs of information in motion (such as confidential patient data).

In this race to exterminate cancer, the first challenge that must be resolved is to control the flow of information across the complete content lifecycle — even after external sharing — while also setting that information free so those who access it can increase productivity. Solving the collaboration challenge will ultimately allow researchers to remain focused on the important work of the cancer moonshot initiative.

The countdown is on…

By Daren Glenister

Breakthroughs in Clinical Trials Utilizing the Power of the Cloud

Breakthroughs in Clinical Trials Utilizing the Power of the Cloud

Clinical Trials and the Power of the Cloud

Clinical trials play an essential role in the drug development process by effectively demonstrating the efficacy and safety of a pharmaceutical compound. Although lead by scientific endeavor with patient safety and therapeutic benefits in mind, the process of bringing drugs to market is long, complex, bureaucratic and, above all else, expensive.

Inefficiencies in the clinical trials process continue to stymie industry stakeholders anxious to rein in the cost of product development and adhere to tighter timelines. There is an urgent need to expedite the time-to-market for new drugs and to make the approval process simpler. Discontent with the ‘status quo’ and dismal performance metrics are driving a cacophony of infrastructural changes with stakeholders embracing technologies that are finally moving the needle. Cloud-based solutions such as clinical trial management systems (CTMS), electronic data capture (EDC), electronic trial master file (eTMF), and study startup (SSU) are all quantum leaps and are collectivity referred to as the eClinical stack.

Why the cloud?

randy-biasCloud computing continues to be a disruptive force in IT with no signs of slowing down. According to the Synergy Research Group, the worldwide cloud computing market grew 28% to $110B in revenues in 2015, and forecasts from the International Data Corporation (IDC) indicate worldwide spending on public cloud services will grow at a 19.4% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) – almost six times the rate of overall IT spending growth – from nearly $70 billion in 2015 to more than $141 billion in 2019. “Cloud computing provides a dramatic opportunity across all industries,” according to Randy Bias, Director, OpenStack Foundation, and author of Grasping the Cloud Is Essential to Business Efficiency. “Old businesses are leveraging cloud to disrupt the existing incumbents. Cloud computing is profoundly disruptive in a way few can truly understand.”

By playing a critical role in enabling digital transformation, cloud computing lowers typical IT barriers of slow time to value, risky implementations, limited resources, heavy maintenance, and incompatible systems. Allowing cloud computing to free up resources to run the business enables organizations to focus their time and energy on the pursuit of innovation and growth.

Some of the key reasons driving cloud-based adoption are:

  • Ease of deployment and management
  • Greater flexibility in supporting evolving business needs from both a technical and business perspective
  • Lower cost of operations
  • Easier way to scale and ensure availability and performance
  • Overall ease of use

According to Nan Bulger, Executive Director of SCIP, the Strategic & Competitive Intelligence Professionals society, and author of The New Decision Influencer, “In profit and nonprofit based businesses alike, the future of anything rests in the ability to influence the bottom line through operational efficiency and effectiveness, customer revenue generation and social impact.

The need for more efficient clinical trials is driving greater use of cloud-based solutions in the pharmaceutical industry – historically slow in adopting new technologies – especially with the rise in outsourcing and globalization. The “cloud” gives the ability to access value-added services from anywhere at anytime with a level of simplicity, flexibility, and cost-efficiency never seen before.

Leveraging the cloud for speed

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(Image Source: Shutterstock)

The public’s growing dissatisfaction with the clinical trial process is evident in the press with the recent push for expedited programs, such as, the 21st Century Cures Act, compassionate use and the “Right to Try” laws leading the vanguard of change to an industry which has been historically mired in regulation and slow to adopt new innovative technologies, technologies which have the ability to significantly reduce cycle times and get much-needed therapies to those in need faster.

Significant financial losses bolster the insistent calls for change. Data from the Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development indicate that mean clinical development time is 6.7 years, and daily revenue lost because a drug is not yet on the market has been estimated in the range of $1 million – $8 million. To confront these issues of cost and time, the industry has been evolving from its slow paper-based methods toward cloud-based systems. With the flurry of attention focused on the issue of speeding clinical trials, the need for collaborative, cloud-based solutions has never been greater.

In the cloud, data is available in real-time from anywhere in the world, and the rapid elasticity afforded to cloud-based hosting solutions can offer virtually infinite scalability – a proposition that is attractive for large Pharma and Contract Research Organizations (CROs). Cloud-based technologies also allow results to be analyzed more quickly and facilitate communication amongst clinical research teams across the globe. The introduction, and growing adoption, of cloud technologies for clinical trials will lower of cost of technology and thus the barrier to entry, making the cloud attractive for small-to-mid sized biotech, medical device companies and universities. For small companies, cloud computing services can provide a fast way to launch a new product, while keeping the focus on developing product features instead of fine-tuning office servers.

Improving Study Startup with Cloud-Based Services

While companies have often focused on improving study conduct in order to make gains in clinical trial efficiency, stakeholders are becoming increasingly aware that better Study Startup (SSU) – a perpetual bottleneck – processes are linked to shorter clinical timelines, and the emphasis is slowly shifting in that direction. SSU includes activities such as country selection, pre-study visits, site selection and initiation, regulatory document submission, contract and budget execution, and enrolling the first patient.

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Research indicates that lengthy start-up times are problematic for many stakeholders: companies seeking to develop new treatments, insurers formulating policy, providers, and patients. Addressing this issue is a challenge because too often, information needed to launch clinical trials still resides in multiple databases, leaving SSU activities to be performed using Excel spreadsheets, e-mail, and shared file drives. Consequently, too much time is spent on non-productive activities, such as status meetings, because the desired information is housed in various locations and is not readily available.
http://www.nextivadrive.com

These inefficiencies can be minimized using a purpose-built SaaS SSU solution. With this type of solution, real-time viewing of data and smart workflows that standardize processes become possible. Some key advantages of the solution are: it functions as a single repository for study documents; information only needs to be entered once; and documents from the study database can be accessed using a single logon. Overall, the technology is designed to provide better collaboration with sites, improve business processes, identify bottlenecks, and avoid redundant processes. Using cloud-based technology, a better SSU methodology aligns with the goal of faster development by significantly impacting cycle times. This approach leads to greater cost savings and faster market entry, making valuable therapies available to patients sooner.

Conclusion

Industry analysts estimate that the data generated by the pharmaceutical industry doubles every six months and recently published research indicates that by 2020 approximately 70% of clinical trials will be outsourced to CROs. How will on-premise or custom-built applications handle these scale and business operational challenges – simply put they won’t.

Cloud computing is attractive because its inherent scalability, availability and flexibility offer the potential to streamline the clinical development process, accelerate timelines, and cut information technology costs. Additionally, the cloud can add a layer of security and control that is simply not possible with paper-based processes. Introducing these important efficiencies into routine clinical processes helps companies adhere to increasingly aggressive timelines, and comply with the changing nature of global regulations in a timely manner.

And while the pharmaceutical industry might not be the vanguard of innovative cloud technology adoption, one thing remains clear – the cloud will continue to revolutionize the healthcare industry by enabling pharmaceutical companies to bring their drugs to patients faster at a lower cost.

Craig MorganBy Craig Morgan, brand development director at goBalto Inc.

Craig is a technology and life sciences management professional with more than 15 years of experience in the application of informatics and bioinformatics to drug discovery. He currently heads up the marketing and brand development functions at goBalto, working with sponsors, CROs and sites to reduce cycle times and improve collaboration and oversight in clinical trials.

Reasons Why Sensor Technology May Not Be Ready For Wearable Devices

Reasons Why Sensor Technology May Not Be Ready For Wearable Devices

Sensor Technology

Imagine a distant future where instead of carrying your phone and your laptop every day with you, all you would have to do is wear a silicon chip which would be glued to your skin. Its power would combine your smart phone and laptop as well.

This device could be powered by an electromagnetic charger, solar panel or even your body’s heat. But, it’s not how it gets it power that is important, what’s more important is the fact that the device would know everything about you. The device would not just know your GPS location, it would know your heart rate, the temperature around you, the weight of the bag you are carrying and exactly what activities you are going to perform.

All in all, a device like this could blur the boundaries between machine and human and it’s all because of the brilliant sensor technology.

Is the sensor technology advanced enough yet?

cisco-ceo-chuck-robinsMany tech experts believe that this kind of technology is not far enough and it is almost inevitable. In fact, Cisco’s CEO Chuck Robbins claimed that with the help of this kind of technology the number of Internet of Things (IoT) devices will increase from 50 billion to almost 500 billion in just a span of 10 years.

But there is a fact that a lot of tech experts miss out – the sensor technology available to us right now is not cheap enough, tiny enough or good enough.

How cheap do sensors really need to be?

Now, it’s not that the sensors have always been expensive, the price of sensors has gone down by over 200 times in the last 20 years. In fact, some sensors are now just one-tenth of the total cost in just four years.

But, the issue is – they are still not as affordable as you would want them to be. And it’s not just the price; many expensive sensors don’t even perform as well as you would want them to.

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(Image Source: Shutterstock)

For instance, most of the mobile phones today which have gyroscopes (used to stabilize the camera shake) are of average quality. You know if you move too much or if the phone moves too much, the picture is going to get blurred out.

Sure you can track your heart beats with Fitbit too, but researchers want medical sensors to be compact enough so that they can be swallowed by the patients, and the doctors can keep track of the body functioning.

The prices of all of these sensors need to come down to at least 10 cents per piece if we want to develop more wearable devices that are affordable as well.

How can we develop cheaper sensors?

We are sure your first answer is just to manufacture these sensors in a third world country where the production costs are low, just like most of the companies do for mobile phones. But, it isn’t the same as that.

While mobile phones can be designed, developed, manufactured and assembled in separate countries to save costs, the cost of sensors can only go down with innovation.

For instance, sensors have an analog to digital converter in them. All of the sensors measure analog signals which are then converted to digital so that the Internet of Things (IoT) devices can comprehend them.

Now, if the costs of this converter could be lowered or if we could somehow build a sensor that wouldn’t need a converter at all, then that could lower the costs.

Why haven’t there been any major innovations in sensor technology?

Well, there have been, but the problem here is – every sector uses a different kind of sensor. So, an innovation made in the medical sector might not help the sensors used in the technology sector. Some sensors are easier to manage while other sensors are technologically complex and innovations in them could take decades. Basically, these innovations are not moving in the same direction, and this is the main problem.

In Summary

We have to agree that there are some big obstructions when it comes to sensor technology and its incorporation into wearable devices. But, that does not mean that it is impossible. A decade ago, holograms and virtual reality seemed like a far distant dream as well, and yet, here we are. We strongly believe that sensor technology can reach a great height in less than a decade.

By Ritika Tiwari

Infographic: How Wearables Are Revolutionizing Health Care Services

Infographic: How Wearables Are Revolutionizing Health Care Services

Wearable Technology for Healthcare

The consumer eHealth and health insurance industry is set to have a major focus on wearable technology with the benefits it can provide to both consumers and health care providers. 1 in 5 American’s now owns a wearable tech device. Consumer belief in wearable technology is also extremely high with 56% of consumers believing that the average life expectancy increases over 10 years due to wearables monitoring vital signs. The two most popular devices in the market currently are fitness bands and smart watches. Despite the growth of wearables, the use of wearable tech is still in its infancy with users weighing in on the benefits as well as the unmet expectations with wearable technology.

The Struggle with Overcoming Consumer Concerns

One big issue with wearable technology is consumer abandonment. Almost a third of all wearable device consumers reported using it less or not at all only a year after buying it. Another common issue consumers have with wearable technology is concerns of privacy and security breaches. 82% of consumers worry about an invasion of privacy and over 86% worry that wearables make consumers more vulnerable to security breaches. Despite these concerns, consumers are also seeing a lot of added benefits from wearable technology.

Added benefits from Wearable Technology

Wearable technology provides benefits to not only consumers, but also to health care providers and businesses. 46% of consumers believe wearable technology can help them to lose weight and as well increase life expectancy by being able to actively monitor vital signs on a regular basis. BP distributed 16,000 FitBits to its employees as part of a large health plan for employees. This dropped corporate healthcare costs well below the national growth rate.

WearableElectronics2

Humana uses wearables to reward fitness activities with reduced premiums, gift cards and health devices. A three-year study of employees using this HumanaVitality health plan showed a 44% decrease in sick days for employees. This is starting to become a trend in many workplaces as a healthier workforce results in lower health care costs for both the employee and the health care provider. It’s a win-win situation with everyone saving money.

The Future of Wearables

As it stands right now, wearable technology can increase consumer engagement, track physical activity, as well as collect health data. Current wearable programs are being fine-tuned to provide more benefits for consumers, employers, insurers and health care providers and other stakeholders. The wearables that will provide the most value in the future will:

  • Embrace opportunities in the Internet of Things
  • Transform big data into valuable information that provides insights
  • Simplify user experience with a more human-centered design
  • To learn more about how wearables are revolutionizing the health care industry, check out this useful and informative infographic from the Northwestern School of Professional Studies.

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How the Internet of Things will change your life

How the Internet of Things will change your life

Internet of Things Day

This Saturday 9th April, it’s global Internet of Things day. A day where people around the world come together at events to talk about and debate the future and what the Internet of Things means for us all

What does the future hold for us? Well here are just a couple of areas that we can see changing in the coming years.

Medical / healthcare

There have already been some huge leaps forward in recent years in the field of medtech, this invention from Google making some of the bigger headlines last year. But there is much more possible, even just looking at today’s technology, we can see a number of things developing, such as:

  • Smart pill bottles – these bottles monitor your pill usage, not only making sure that you’re taking the right doses but also letting your Doctor know when you may need more.
  • Smart pills – not just the bottle, but the pills themselves can become smart, providing your Doctor with better insights into your health and the effect their treatments are having.

Transport

Like in the medical industry, we’re already seeing glimpses of what’s possible when it comes to the Internet of Things and transport. A few developments we could see include:

  • Self-driving and parking cars – Tesla are pushing this a lot at the moment but lots of companies see the potential here.
  • Parking apps – there are plenty of apps out there that are gathering data on local car park facilities and using this to tell drivers where a free spot is available. It’s not that unthinkable to connect this data directly to a car with self-parking ability and potentially for that car to find a space and park itself without any input from the driver.

It goes beyond cars too, cycles are getting the Internet of Things treatment too!

There is a huge amount of information out there and the team at RS Components have put together a simple visualisation showing what the Internet of Things is and importantly, what it could mean for our future. You can take a closer look at the visual below.

IOT_6.3-Infographic

By Heidi Walker

IBM & Pfizer Join Forces To Work On IoT Innovation

IBM & Pfizer Join Forces To Work On IoT Innovation

IBM & Pfizer Join Forces

For many years, the diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease induced a feeling of hopelessness and defeat amongst both sufferers of the disease and the medical professionals who care for them. Parkinson’s is a progressive degeneration of the nervous system which chiefly affects middle-aged and elderly people. Yet, in recent years, there has been renewed hope and confidence that quality of life, prevention and even the cure of Parkinson’s will one day be possible.

New strategies and ideas are being put forward right now which will dramatically improve our understanding of what it is like to live with the disease. Pharmaceutical company Pfizer is teaming up with technology powerhouse IBM in an effort to use the Internet of Things as a means of producing real-time, continuous data of a patient’s symptoms, and understanding how those symptoms impact on that person’s daily life.

healthcare

The idea behind the research project is to use a sophisticated system of mobile devices, sensors and connected machines in a controlled environment to track a patient’s particular set of symptoms and to monitor and evaluate whether their symptoms are worsening or improving. “The goal is that through these experiments the team can create a program that would allow that flow of data from the patient to their medical team and provide more pinpoint dosing,” explains technology website TechCrunch.

At this stage, the approach is very experimental. The clinical trials will begin in 2018 at IBM’s Research Centre where a functional apartment is being built with a network of hidden sensors that will monitor the daily experiences of the participants in minute detail.

Fortune magazine explains that “Pfizer and IBM will rotate in as many as 200 participants, both those with Parkinson’s disease and control subjects who don’t have the neurological condition, who will live in the space for a period of time and produce reams information from these sensors.”

The potential for both IBM and Pfizer is tremendous. IBM is investing heavily in the Internet of Things and in its ability to effectively analyze big data, while Pfizer is hoping to test and monitor its newest Parkinson’s drug which is in the pipeline. For both companies, a new approach to treating Parkinson’s would reap great rewards.

Mikael-DolstenAccording to Mikael Dolsten, president of Pfizer Worldwide R&D, “we have an opportunity to potentially redefine how we think about patient outcomes and 24/7 monitoring, by combining Pfizer’s scientific, medical and regulatory expertise with IBM’s ability to integrate and interpret complex data in innovative ways.

Industries all around the world are rapidly gaining an understanding of the impact that the Internet of Things could potentially have on the way that they conduct their business and the pharmaceutical industry is no exception.

A partnership such as this between two giants in their respective fields points the way towards an integrated, targeted approach which will be enormously beneficial to ordinary people who can tap into the power of the technology which surrounds us for the greater good.

By Jeremy Daniel

CloudTweaks Comics
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A New CCTV Nightmare: Botnets And DDoS attacks

A New CCTV Nightmare: Botnets And DDoS attacks

Botnets and DDoS Attacks There’s just so much that seems as though it could go wrong with closed-circuit television cameras, a.k.a. video surveillance. With an ever-increasing number of digital eyes on the average person at all times, people can hardly be blamed for feeling like they’re one misfortune away from joining the ranks of Don’t…

Cloud Infographic – Cloud Public, Private & Hybrid Differences

Cloud Infographic – Cloud Public, Private & Hybrid Differences

Cloud Public, Private & Hybrid Differences Many people have heard of cloud computing. There is however a tremendous number of people who still cannot differentiate between Public, Private & Hybrid cloud offerings.  Here is an excellent infographic provided by the group at iWeb which goes into greater detail on this subject. Infographic source: iWeb

Teach Yourself The Cloud: Cloud Computing Knowledge In 5 Easy Steps

Teach Yourself The Cloud: Cloud Computing Knowledge In 5 Easy Steps

Teach Yourself The Cloud Learn how to get to grips with cloud computing in business  Struggling to get your head around the Cloud? Here are five easy ways you can improve your cloud knowledge and perhaps even introduce cloud systems into your business.  Any new technology can appear daunting, and cloud computing is no exception.…

M2M, IoT and Wearable Technology: Where To Next?

M2M, IoT and Wearable Technology: Where To Next?

M2M, IoT and Wearable Technology Profiling 600 companies and including 553 supporting tables and figures, recent reports into the M2M, IoT and Wearable Technology ecosystems forecast opportunities, challenges, strategies, and industry verticals for the sectors from 2015 to 2030. With many service providers looking for new ways to fit wearable technology with their M2M offerings…

How To Humanize Your Data (And Why You Need To)

How To Humanize Your Data (And Why You Need To)

How To Humanize Your Data The modern enterprise is digital. It relies on accurate and timely data to support the information and process needs of its workforce and its customers. However, data suffers from a likability crisis. It’s as essential to us as oxygen, but because we don’t see it, we take it for granted.…

How The CFAA Ruling Affects Individuals And Password-Sharing

How The CFAA Ruling Affects Individuals And Password-Sharing

Individuals and Password-Sharing With the 1980s came the explosion of computing. In 1980, the Commodore ushered in the advent of home computing. Time magazine declared 1982 was “The Year of the Computer.” By 1983, there were an estimated 10 million personal computers in the United States alone. As soon as computers became popular, the federal government…

Disaster Recovery – A Thing Of The Past!

Disaster Recovery – A Thing Of The Past!

Disaster Recovery  Ok, ok – I understand most of you are saying disaster recovery (DR) is still a critical aspect of running any type of operations. After all – we need to secure our future operations in case of disaster. Sure – that is still the case but things are changing – fast. There are…

The Cancer Moonshot: Collaboration Is Key

The Cancer Moonshot: Collaboration Is Key

Cancer Moonshot In his final State of the Union address in January 2016, President Obama announced a new American “moonshot” effort: finding a cure for cancer. The term “moonshot” comes from one of America’s greatest achievements, the moon landing. If the scientific community can achieve that kind of feat, then surely it can rally around…

Choosing IaaS or a Cloud-Enabled Managed Hosting Provider?

Choosing IaaS or a Cloud-Enabled Managed Hosting Provider?

There is a Difference – So Stop Comparing We are all familiar with the old saying “That’s like comparing apples to oranges” and though we learned this lesson during our early years we somehow seem to discount this idiom when discussing the Cloud. Specifically, IT buyers often feel justified when comparing the cost of a…

Technology Influencer in Chief: 5 Steps to Success for Today’s CMOs

Technology Influencer in Chief: 5 Steps to Success for Today’s CMOs

Success for Today’s CMOs Being a CMO is an exhilarating experience – it’s a lot like running a triathlon and then following it with a base jump. Not only do you play an active role in building a company and brand, but the decisions you make have direct impact on the company’s business outcomes for…

Despite Record Breaches, Secure Third Party Access Still Not An IT Priority

Despite Record Breaches, Secure Third Party Access Still Not An IT Priority

Secure Third Party Access Still Not An IT Priority Research has revealed that third parties cause 63 percent of all data breaches. From HVAC contractors, to IT consultants, to supply chain analysts and beyond, the threats posed by third parties are real and growing. Deloitte, in its Global Survey 2016 of third party risk, reported…

The Security Gap: What Is Your Core Strength?

The Security Gap: What Is Your Core Strength?

The Security Gap You’re out of your mind if you think blocking access to file sharing services is filling a security gap. You’re out of your mind if you think making people jump through hoops like Citrix and VPNs to get at content is secure. You’re out of your mind if you think putting your…