IoT And Personalized Medicine: Digital Transformation Is Creating New Business Models For Life Science

From electronic record systems (EHR) to the Internet of Medical Things (Healthcare IoT), the digital revolution has already brought disruptive changes to the healthcare sector. Even bigger changes are on the way, thanks to advances in networking and in-memory computing. Powered by IoT, personalized medicine is creating new business opportunities for pharmaceutical drugs, medical devices, and patient services that will dramatically improve therapeutic outcomes. Digital disruption has the potential to unlock $ 100 billion in commercial value, reports Accenture. With the life sciences industry poised for change, companies that take move to capitalize on new business will gain a critical, first-mover advantage.

A more than $ 100 billion opportunity: Life science digital transformation

Life science companies that embrace digital transformation are shifting value within their industry. These companies successfully unlock new revenue streams by providing a substitute treatment or medication, enabling the sharing economy, converting healthy activities into currency, or setting new standards for treatment and personalized care monitoring. For example, Accenture reports that remote monitoring for Type 2 Diabetes has the potential to shift more than $ 100 billion in value from traditional to emerging business models.

Healthcare IoT and analytics processing are coming together to enable this digital shift. IoT uses real-time data feeds from sensors and devices to enable machine-to-machine interactions. Data is now available through remote tracking, electronic medical records, diagnostic information and hand-held personal devices. Advanced analytics processing analyses this data in real time, providing actionable insights that enhance the decision-making powers of professionals and enables patients to take a more active role in managing their personal health. These innovations are transforming not just how we care for the chronically ill, but also how we empower individual wellness and proactively work to prevent disease.

In addition to the benefits of IoT for personalized health care, IoT is also making it easier for life science companies that produce equipment or medication to proactively mitigate machine failure. This helps life sciences companies improve reliability and quality. Patients benefit from a responsive supply chain and companies benefit from efficiency gains that lower production costs.

IoT digital transformation in action: Cold chain supply for biologics and smart pills

The impact of IoT on the life science industry is significant, particularly in terms of how these businesses interact with their B2B customers and, even more importantly, their consumers. Cold chain supply for biologics and consumer smart pills are two examples of how IoT is improving therapeutic outcomes through personalized medicine.

Cold chain supply for biologics

Pharmaceutical companies that manufacture environmentally sensitive drugs face several key challenges. First, these manufactures need to improve the safety and efficacy of drug production. Second, these companies are working to reduce theft and lost drugs. Finally, these companies are seeking to reduce incidental spoilage and decrease inventory requirements. IoT tracking and sensors addresses these key challenges.

By 2020, IDC predicts that more than half of all top-selling drugs will be biopharmaceutical or biologic products requiring temperature controlled transportation and storage, usually 2–8°C, but sometimes frozen or cryogenic. This requires a huge network of time/temperature sensors in factories, warehouses, trucks, labs, and pharmacies that can monitor and send this information, for both clinical trial supplies and approved products. IoT tracking sensors and networks help life sciences companies ensure the safety and efficacy of their products in transit and in storage. Investment in cold chain IoT networks will be driven by safety and compliance concerns; these investments will also contribute to savings from lower inventory and spoilage costs.

Smart pill for personalized medicine

Health care providers struggle with prescription non-adherence, especially among patients with chronic diseases. Since patients are reluctant to tell their health care providers that they are not taking their medications, the American Medical Association reports that providers may needlessly escalate treatment. IoT powered innovations like the “smart pill” may improve patient compliance. Key benefits include maximizing drug effectiveness, reducing medical costs due to improper drug usage and decrease incidental spoilage and supply chain waste.

The Proteus pill by Proteus Digital Health contains a tiny ingestible sensor that can communicate to a wearable patch on a patient’s skin when the pill has reached the patient’s stomach. The patch then sends a status update to a mobile device. The technology can be helpful for conditions where adherence to taking prescriptions has traditionally been poor. Related technology includes “smart” pill bottles that can send signals to portable devices when opened or altered, thereby improving safety and reducing fraud.

Three steps to prepare your life science company for digital transformation

Innovate or be left behind: digital transformation is contemporary imperative for today’s life sciences companies. Whether a scenario can be implemented now or in the future, your company must have the right technology and IT infrastructure in place. Otherwise, your company risks losing out on first-mover advantage. These three steps will position your business for success:

  1. Conduct a risk-benefit assessment. Define strategic and tactical goals, including high-level benchmarks against key industry competitors, both traditional and emerging. Align efforts with customer needs, key business goals, and the likelihood of market disruptions.
  1. Be “digital ready.” Start modernizing systems and business processes in alignment with future opportunities.
  1. Form strategic partnerships. Identify the partnership ecosystem that can best support your business on its path towards digital transformation.

Taking these steps today will prepare your life science company to capitalize on the disruptive IoT innovations that are essential for the next generation of personalized medicine.

Learn how to bring new technologies and services together to power digital transformation by downloading “The IoT Imperative for Consumer Industries.” Explore how to bring Industry 4.0 insights into your business today by reading “Industry 4.0: What’s Next?

Internet of Things – Digitalist Magazine

How To Regulate Power in Davos? (With IoT!)

The Global Elite are currently converging on the Swiss town of Davos for the 2018 World Economic Forum, and the heavy snow means that there’s already heavy traffic before it even begins.

The forum is traditionally all about power relationships — but in these cold, snowy conditions, a different type of power regulation may come into play, based on the Internet of Things.

The Swiss federal railway (SBB) runs on electricity. In the Global Railway Review and in a recent presentation in Budapest, SBB’s  explained how new technology is pointing the way to greater energy efficiency.

The highest energy use occurs in the winter during the coldest periods during the morning and evening commutes, when many trains all leave at the same time. These sharp peaks typically have a duration of less than one minute, and only occur a few times a year — but these few minutes a year require the supply of an entire additional power band.

By 2030, the SBB expects an average increase in demand for energy of more than 25% — and at peak times even more than 40%. In order to avoid the expensive construction of new power stations in the alps, the organization has implemented the first steps to a railway smart grid by implementing “peak-shaving.” This is when a high-performance IT system identifies peak loads, selects appropriate “thermic consumers” that can be temporarily disabled, and switches them off for just a short period of time.

The “thermic consumers” include rail carriages and the railroad switches (points). The new system uses an in-memory streaming analytics system based on SAP HANA to detect the arrival of peak loads and communicate with the heating systems in the train carriages. Extensive testing has shown that not even the most sensitive passenger would notice the short time the heating is turned off.

There are many benefits to the new system, including postponed investments in new energy infrastructure by leveraging existing assets, savings in peak energy costs, and an increase in the reliability of the energy supply.

And this is just the start for SBB — the organization is already looking to expand this first project into a full power management system, with new opportunities to control other energy-consuming appliances in the future, such as the train engines themselves.

If only political shutdowns could be as easily avoided by the proper regulation of power!

This article originally appeared on Digital Business & Business Analytics.

Internet of Things – Digitalist Magazine

The Promise Of The IoT: Go Green With Greater Efficiency

The Internet of Things (IoT) has garnered significant media attention – and for good reason. The potential of connected devices using real-time analysis to improve processes and procedures seems nearly limitless. By at least one estimation, only about 10% of a company’s data is effectively used. As the IoT and other data-based technologies mature, that number should rise dramatically. Businesses leveraging the IoT should reap enormous benefits.

Wastewater treatment is one modern example of IoT-inspired improvements. Wastewater, admittedly, is not the most exciting of topics. Yet the advances enabled by IoT technology are fascinating. Even better, they’re also great for the environment.

They also can result in significant cost savings for businesses, as they go green with greater efficiency.

Using IoT tech to predict pollution levels

Dealing with regulatory oversight is a key aspect of operating in the pulp, paper, and packaging industries. These companies create significant amounts of wastewater during the production process. They must then control the amount of pollution released into this discharge.

Meeting these requirements requires some form of predictive technology. Businesses must determine how much pollution will be created by any given production process. Historically, these predictions required some educated guesswork. These estimations often relied on prior experience. A “feel” for the process (essentially informed intuition) was also helpful.

Today the process of calibrating wastewater treatment levels is on firmer analytical ground. This is thanks, in part, to the IoT. Businesses can deploy sensors that report real-time data. This data concerns variables such as pH value, temperature, and flow. This information is then relayed to a platform (such as SAP HANA) where regression techniques are applied. The end result equals accurate predictions of midterm chemical oxygen demand (COD) values.

Based on these predictions, companies can make the necessary adjustments to ensure regulatory compliance. For example, if predicted pollution levels are too high, activated oxygen may be added to lower the levels. Or a business may choose to offload some production to another facility. Production schedules may also be adjusted as needed. Armed with accurate information, businesses can react as needed.

The benefits of an IoT-assisted approach

The kind of flexibility outlined above is highly beneficial for businesses. By incorporating accurate predictive data into their processes, companies can ensure they stay within regulatory dictates. This, in turn, lowers exposure to fines and penalties. By using IoT technology, companies protect against the possibility of a major pollution event. Should projected pollution levels be too high, alerts are immediately issued. Mitigating steps can then be taken.

Process costs can also be lowered. If a pulp or paper plant has access to highly accurate pollution predictions, the margin for error decreases. Without accurate predictions, plants may run lower than capacity in an effort to limit pollution, even if such measures are not warranted. Plants may also take corrective action (such as releasing activated oxygen) in cases where it is not necessary. By knowing precisely where the regulatory line is, businesses can operate at peak efficiency.

Additionally, deployment of IoT technology can lower costs. Engineering and inspection are areas where cost savings are likely to be noticeable.

Financial benefits are only one side of the coin. By accurately gauging pollution levels – and making necessary adjustments – businesses help promote a cleaner environment. The IoT can reduce financial liability and keep businesses in good environmental standing. That’s a true win/win outcome.

Finally, the benefits of using the IoT in a water management context extend far beyond pollution control. Cities across the globe are using the IoT to manage water supplies. IoT-assisted systems are fighting droughts by saving billions of gallons of water. This water would otherwise be lost to leakage.

When these conservation effects are combined with equally powerful environmental benefits, the future of IoT-assisted water management seems highly promising.

The takeaway

The Internet of Things is transforming processes worldwide. Wastewater treatment is no exception. By making predictions vastly more accurate, IoT technology helps plants save money, mitigate risk, and protect the environment.

Learn how to bring new technologies and services together to power digital transformation by downloading “The IoT Imperative for Energy and Natural Resource Companies.” Explore how to bring Industry 4.0 insights into your business today by reading Industry 4.0: What’s Next?

Internet of Things – Digitalist Magazine

Digital Transformation And Changing Economics In Higher Ed

As the world goes digital, higher education needs to follow along. As I wrote in the recent white paper Digital Education: Leading and Shaping, “digitization will affect every activity, interaction, transaction, and outcome at higher education institutions.” One area that is shifting is higher education economics. Institutions of higher learning will need to adapt to these new economics to survive.

How are higher education economics changing? And how can digitization and technology help your institution adapt to these changes?

New economics of higher education

Higher education is changing within today’s digital economy, and digital transformation and technology are creating this change. While the changes to higher education affect learning models and other aspects of an institution, they also disrupt economic aspects in the business component of the school.

Technology is also helping to make education more available and affordable to a wider variety of students. In Money magazine, Stephen M. Smith discussed various technologies and changes making college less expensive. For example, online tools can help students find scholarships and discover the right school to fit their needs, which can help them stay on track, graduate on time, and reduce costs.

Also, new forms of online education are competing with traditional higher education institutions. With the cost of traditional colleges rising, more students may opt for the lower cost and greater flexibility of online options, so colleges must find ways to compete with these alternatives.

How to adapt to economic changes

While digitization is creating changes that higher education must respond to, it can also help institutions adapt to new business models. For example, digitization can provide support for changing management and staffing models. Schools can use advanced analytics and artificial intelligence to come up with new workforce and staffing structures. Ideas for improving finances include changing the model to hire more adjunct faculty, create automated support, and use shared support staff.

Schools can use also Big Data to shape their models and reduce costs for students. For example, many students go to college longer than they need to, but as Smith discusses in his article, technology can reduce this problem. Big Data can show institutions, advisors, and educators when students are struggling so they can provide timely solutions. They can also create customized paths for students through new systems. Measures like these can improve success rates and help students go through school faster, which can streamline the system and reduce tuition costs for students.

Colleges can also use technology to compete with online education alternatives. For example, they can create a blended learning experience that uses both classroom and mobile learning. This increases flexibility while also offering benefits of an in-person experience and the credentials of established institutions. They can also offer a progressive learning experience enhanced by technology and advancements. Further, institutions can use data and predictive insight to improve operations and management. This can help institutions keep up with changes and remain competitive.

Further, the Internet of Things (IoT) is becoming as important to higher education as it is to the rest of society. This form of technology could affect the economic aspect of institutions. An article for EDUCAUSE Review explains that colleges could follow the model of “smart cities” to integrate the different aspects of the school into a new organizational structure. This could streamline the working of the school and create economic growth.  An article in Digitalist Magazine discusses how the IoT can help institutions cut costs by, for example, reducing energy use on campus.

Eric Stoller points out that educational institutions can be reluctant to progress since education and research generally take precedence over running the business. Also, many colleges and universities tend to prefer traditional, tried-and-true approaches. He explains that shifting the perspective of the institution can help it move forward with technology. After all, digitization can improve learning and research just as much as the business model.

Overall, the shape of the higher education field and higher education economics are changing with digitization and technology. Institutions are facing economic changes, and they need to respond to these to remain competitive. Technology can help them adapt while supporting new models that provide growth and competitiveness.

For more insight on digital leaders, check out the SAP Center for Business Insight report, conducted in collaboration with Oxford Economics, “SAP Digital Transformation Executive Study: 4 Ways Leaders Set Themselves Apart.”

Internet of Things – Digitalist Magazine

When Developing Your Internet Of Things Strategy, Prioritize Privacy And Security

Former Cisco CEO John Chambers famously predicted that there would be 50 billion connected devices by 2020. Thanks to the Internet of Things (IoT), his forecast may soon become reality.

Things such as appliances, cars, medical devices, street lights, wearable technologies, industrial machinery, military equipment, and logistics systems are beginning to share huge volumes of information. Organizations that collect, store, and analyze this data can increase efficiency, cut costs, and make smarter decisions.

Despite this rapid growth, however, IoT technologies are still in their infancy. Consumer devices have drawn the most attention so far, but it’s likely that IoT will have more widespread applicability in business applications.

That’s why executives who want to gain value from IoT technologies need to make hard decisions about this dynamic, maturing technology. Among the most important concerns are privacy and security. To stay compliant with regulatory mandates and to create trusted relationships with customers, companies must protect and secure data.

Protecting data assets – and your reputation

Thinking about what’s possible with IoT is not enough. You must also consider what’s responsible in your data practices.

For example, who owns the data you collect? Is it the consumer, the device owner, or the device manufacturer? In the United States, Internet service providers are now permitted to sell any and all of their consumers’ information without consumer consent. Is it a breach of consumer privacy if the ISP’s customers buy data that tracks individuals’ entertainment preferences? E-mail communications? Online bill payments?

What about data created by an asset that has multiple owners over its lifetime? If a customer rents or leases an air compressor, the company owns the asset and the data it produces. But if the company later sells the compressor, who does the data belong to – the old owner or the new one? Should the data be stored by a trusted third-party to prevent breaches?

Many cars can track driver behaviour. Some consumers elect to share that data with their insurance carriers. But should the car’s technology alert the police or the insurer after every minor accident? Should law enforcement officials be able to access that vehicle data, or does it belong to the driver?

Developing trust

As you develop your IoT policies and strategies, look for ways to increase consistency across all touch points while correlating your interactions with customers’ changing wants and needs.

For consumers who opt in, you can use the IoT to enable a constant feedback loop that can boost product innovation, enhance service interactions, and engender new customer loyalty. For example, imagine a family whose vacation is interrupted by a rainy day. The beach resort that recognizes this need could save the day – and develop a loyal customer – by sending the parents coupons to enjoy a local movie theatre, museum, or bowling alley.

Balancing privacy and security and the insights enabled by data can be tricky in the age of the IoT. But organisations that adopt sophisticated data and analysis strategies for using IoT data – while still protecting customer privacy and security – stand to gain a practically unbeatable competitive advantage.

To learn what leading executives think about the privacy and security concerns in the IoT, read our e-book.

Follow me on Twitter @TomRaftery.

This article originally appeared on Forbes SAPVoice.

Internet of Things – Digitalist Magazine