- December 12, 2014
- Posted by: Team EMeRG
- Category: Africa, BY MEDICAL TECHNOLOGIES, Cardiovascular devices, Diagnostic Imaging, GTM Strategy, ICU equipment, Market Entry Assessment, Maternal & Infant Care, Nuclear Medicine Equipment, Operating Room devices, Patient Monitoring
“The biggest hurdle towards penetration is absence of Wi-Fi Direct capabilities in many medical devices. In the future, if it were to be allowed in the hospital system, authentication from the IT would become mandatory…”
Overview: Market for Wi-Fi enabled Medical Devices
Over the past decade, several med-tech companies have incorporated WLAN in their offerings for multiple use-cases. Hospital enterprises have been benefitting from increased telemetry coverage areas, reduced risk of undetected events, as well as continuous monitoring of high acuity areas through Wi-Fi enablement.
However, hospitals work with caution while utilizing medical devices within their Wi-Fi limits
- In the UK, very few hospitals would allow personal devices to connect and send/receive data to PACS/HER
- In the US, while most hospitals allow mobile devices to view data on PACS/EHR over Wi-Fi, sending data to these servers from mobile devices was observed to be moderate
- Several hospitals may have restrictions around use of Wi-Fi Direct and Wi-Fi bridging for medical devices to communicate
Our Client: A global medical technologies manufacturer dealing with radiology equipment as well as healthcare IT solutions
Challenge Statement: Our client was looking to develop a wireless imaging sensor for POC diagnosis. The client wanted to understand the current Wi-Fi infrastructure and adoption patterns of new networking concepts within hospitals. This would be used to strategize the product design to ensure seamless interaction with hospital IT networks.
Research Design: The research design was based on the current levels of usage and maturity of healthcare IT and Wi-Fi across various hospitals. The selection of hospital segments was made based on the minimum requirement of WLAN infrastructure. In addition, various regulatory policies of Wi-Fi usage as well as personal / mobile device usage within healthcare facilities was considered while designing the primary research phase.
Research Methodology: In-depth secondary research was conducted to understand the current usage of WLAN for various hospital operations such as EMR, PACS archiving etc. Various regulatory and security protocols mandated by the respective country’s patient information protection laws were mapped. Evolution of WLAN in hospitals and newer networking concepts in the pilot phase were analysed. Key stakeholders and target respondent groups were identified for the research. This included CIOs (top 100 CIOs of US), Chief information security officers, VP-IT, IT Directors, Senior IT Managers and key personnel in the regulatory teams. A thorough screening criteria was created to recruit the most relevant respondents for the study.
Research Outcome: Based on EMeRG’s recommendations, the preferred mode for transmission of data between wireless probe and mobile medical device was arrived at. Decision on the final networking technology for the mobile medical device was made based on the key findings around customer needs, feasible use cases, confidentiality issues and regulatory environment.