Medical IoT solutions - Supporting the effective deployment of medical devices for home patients
• Customer was looking to monitor home patients’ medical devices
• Wireless solution needed to be compatible with both new and existing equipment
• Custom cellular solution enabled customers to monitor devices in multiple territories
An essential part of every medical service is funding, and, with finite resources, it is essential these are used effectively. A specialist manufacturer of medical equipment needed greater visibility of their devices in the field.
Home patients have been provided with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) devices since the early 1990s, with the financial support of health insurance companies and government bodies. However, these bodies had no way of monitoring these devices or proving that budgets were being effectively used.
CPAP devices treat the symptoms of sleep-disordered breathing by providing a continuous supply of compressed air through a small facemask. Devices were loaned to home patients with costs covered by supporting bodies. Some patients, however, would stop using these devices after a short period of time without letting the healthcare provider know or returning the equipment for redistribution. Therefore, it became necessary to monitor the equipment and enable redeployment.
Providing a solution for both new and existing devices We worked with the customer to develop a wireless solution that could be added to both old and new devices through a serial connection. Using the Sierra Wireless SL series of cellular modules, which featured an open AT application framework, existing software could be used with the equipment, reducing development and deployment costs and timescales. Two SL-series chips were used in the final designs, the SL8082BTQ for the European market and the SL8084BTQ for the Japanese market, adding a further benefit of multi-territory device monitoring.
Once in place, the customer was able to gain the insight needed to ensure equipment was effectively used and to provide better support to patients. Another benefit provided by the wireless solution was the additional insight into a patient’s condition over time. This enables devices to be fine-tuned to the patient’s exact requirements, providing more effective treatment.
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