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How IoT is Saving Lives with Data

Who amongst us has not fallen victim to the temptation of self-diagnosis websites such as WebMD?  It seemed so simple: type your symptoms into a massive database that would analyze their meaning, cross reference it with medical opinions/facts/cases and then produce an “official” diagnosis. Feeling tired lately? It could be the three consecutive all-nighters spent with your crying newborn…or a rare cellular disorder found in only 1 of every 40 million people that is slowly draining the life force from your unsuspecting body.

While sites such as these are far from conclusive or comprehensive diagnostic tools, this is a tangible demonstration of how data sharing and analytics applied to healthcare can greatly enhance the speed of diagnosis.

However, placing those tools in the right hands (hint: not the keyboard pounding ones attached to a pessimistic hypochondriac such as myself) ensures a comprehensive analysis of the data that makes it accurate, powerful and meaningful. As these sites often tell you, consulting a trained physician and allowing them to interpret the data behind your symptoms is always your best bet.

That is why IoT is giving medical professionals the means to deliver crucial patient data more effectively and efficiently.  Doctors and EMTs are already implementing advanced tools, developed by companies such as Physio-Control, to improve triage in the field and directed care in the hospital.

Physio-Control developed the LifePak, which is a portable defibrillator and heart monitor capable of transmitting EKG readings over the internet while analyzing them against a series of algorithms.  This allows first responders to be alerted of any patterns that indicate specific cardiac episodes.  The ability to make a data driven field diagnosis allows EMTs to make important, life-saving decisions.  EKG data can determine where they should take the patient for treatment, what type of treatment to administer in the field, and what precautions to take to make transfer of the patient go smoothly.

Physio-Control also developed the LUCAS 3 Chest Compression system, capable of automating CPR so that EMTs can treat the patient’s other needs more effectively.  IoT enabled, the LUCAS 3 provides treating physicians with new data regarding the patient’s pre-hospital treatment.  LUCAS helps eliminate the issues around duration of CPR administration, fatigue and switching out the administrator of CPR.

Since the LifePak and LUCAS 3 are IoT enabled, they will notify equipment managers when they need to be updated and when they could potentially experience an issue.  This ensures that the device will not fail you when you are using it in the field due to an unforeseen error, error in calibration or out of date software.

With all the regulations and privacy laws concerning information exchange in healthcare, it is imperative that the platforms used to support these connected tools and devices are secure and HIPAA compliant. ClearObject builds your custom IoT solution on leading IoT platforms. Our team can determine your exact security and compliance needs and leverage our network of data warehouse providers to ensure they are met.

 

Clare Maher

Clare Maher is the Product Marketing Manager at ClearObject. A graduate of Saint Mary’s College (#gobelles), Clare can usually be found yelling at the screen during a Notre Dame game, quoting any film ever made or touring the Indy restaurant scene.

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