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

Creating a classroom quiz machine with Arduino

Quiz games, where contestants try to “buzz” in and answer questions make for fun televised game shows, but they can also be great for making learning fun. In order to avoid paying several hundred dollars for an official quiz machine, Instructables user “arpruss” decided to build one for his school using an Arduino Mega.

The device uses a series of CAT-6 cables to connect individual arcade-style buttons to a central control unit with RJ45 connectors, allowing each contestant to buzz in with an answer. While not approved for official competition, the system can pick out button presses down to a precision of 50 microseconds or less and displaying the order on an LCD screen, reliably determining the fastest individual nearly all of the time!

The Certamen quiz team competition from the Junior Classical League involves quiz questions on Greek/Roman subjects. Individual contestants press buzzer buttons when they have an answer. The machine keeps track of the order in which buttons were pressed, subject to the team-lockout rule that once a player on a team presses a button, the other presses from that team don’t count. The machine we built was for three teams of four players each. Additionally, so that other school groups could use the machine as a standard quiz machine, there is an option to disregard teams and just keep track of button order.

Want to create your own? Be sure to check out the project’s full tutorial here!

Arduino Blog

Creating a building’s ‘digital twin’

Buildings have long functioned a bit like our bodies. Plumbing circulates through the building walls, wires innervate every room while concrete and I-beams underpin the whole frame. But until recently these indispensable bedrocks of the modern world have lacked the most critical body part—a brain. Without one, humans have had to manage the lights, power and temperature; service the elevators and other equipment; monitor security cameras; keep rooms stocked with supplies. Powerful new cognitive abilities are emerging from the massive data flows of physical structures.

Enter the 21st century building “digital twin.”

Think of it as a dynamic, virtual model of the physical structure, powered by the massive amounts of data that a single structure generates around the clock—everything from design specs to equipment parameters and live occupancy data.

With IoT-enabled sensors tracking a building’s “pulse” and feeding data back into next-generation systems such as Watson, facility owners and managers today are able to reconstruct every relevant metric from a physical structure in a digital environment. Every asset—from the HVAC system to the vending machines—can be monitored and analyzed remotely. But how do you manage those assets over time? How much power is a particular floor using? And how does that track against the recent jump in headcount? Where are the leaks causing heating and cooling loss? Which parts of the elevators are wearing down and will need replacing next month? Did the vending machine on the thirteenth floor just run out of Diet Coke?

Only 2/3 commercial retail is fully utilized

According to the IBM Institute for Business Value, of the 12 billion square feet of commercial real estate in the U.S., only two-thirds is fully utilized. And the largest tenants—those with more than 50,000 square feet of space—account for 36 percent of all rented space, according to the same research. So any measures those owners find to reduce power and resource expenditure on dormant space will yield big savings as well as significant reductions in power consumption.

In this battle for efficiency, even elevators can be powerful tools. KONE operates 1.1 million lifts in more than 60 countries. That is a lot of up and down, but with some smarts included in the trips, it becomes much more, says KONE CIO Antii Koskelin. KONE has recently embarked on a project that puts sensors in its lifts to listen to not just how the equipment is functioning, but how people are using it. Borrowing from studies and data around how traffic flows in streets, KONE is looking at its elevator data to better understand how people move through buildings. “How much time can we cut from the elevator wait every morning that people endure in big city office buildings in New York, Shanghai, London and the like?” Koskelin asks. “Even shaving two or three minutes will make a difference.”

Time is money

Time saved means better productivity, but understanding people flows in buildings and then becoming a guide can also offer energy savings. Say you have several floors in a building that are used for “hot-desking”—the sharing of desks and space on an as-needed basis. You don’t care what floor you go to, you just need a space to work. Elevators could help fill those floors in the most efficient manner based on live data, coupled with calendar data of the people seeking out desks. The lift guides you to a floor, and when that fills up, the next batch of people is guided to the next floor, and so on. Meanwhile, building owners aren’t lighting, cooling and ventilating vacant or underutilized floors. “The people flow data allows us to anticipate needs, and respond as needed,” Koskelin says. “The elevators act as more than just a machine that goes up and down, they act as smart guides.”

Offloading the tedium of facility management

Now that builders are able to create these “digital twins” in buildings, owners can offload some of the tedium of facility management. No more guiding the air-conditioner tech to the problem spot. The tech arrives, and the location of the wheezing AC compressor is highlighted on a phone or tablet—down this hall and on the other side of this wall—along with the necessary tech specs to fix it, as well as who gets the bill. All of that is already captured in the data of the “digital twin.”

No more worrying about turning off the sprinklers in the rain—or flipping them on again when it stops. The health of the landscaping and moisture in the soil are continuously monitored.

The constant vigilance—or presence, really—of a building’s “digital twin” offers other more subtle benefits. For one customer, IBM’s Watson solved the mystery of a broken piece of critical machinery. Watson was able to scan two weeks of video footage and pinpoint when a delivery truck bumped a sensitive piece of robotics on the factory floor causing an escalating malfunction. Mystery not only solved, but the factory owner also knew where to send a bill for the repair work.

Buildings have been critical but mostly silent structures for centuries. Now innovation has finally added that critical piece of their construction—intelligence—so commercial owners can both save costs and re-focus people on the tasks they do better: create the products and services of the future.

Learn more about what the IoT can do for your buildings.

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Internet of Things blog

Study reveals in-person service essential in creating smart homes

Study reveals in-person service essential in creating smart homes

Business support systems specialist CSG International has published the results of its latest market survey, showing that consumers want customer service when it comes to connecting up their smart homes.

CSG’s survey, entitled The Future of the Digital Experience: Connected Service Edition, asked 2,000 consumers in five countries about their preferences when connecting home automation and smart devices.

Consumers from the US, Mexico, Brazil, Australia and Malaysia were polled in the study, with most of them using cable, satellite television and paid television services regularly.

Conducted through an (unnamed) independent research firm, the results paint an interesting picture of the future of connected homes. In particular, the study finds that consumers expect in-person support from technicians, as well as online.

Read more: Survey: UK consumers wary of smart home products

The human touch

Overall, consumers seem to be more comfortable dealing with specialists who understand how these technologies work and how they can get the most out of them, than they do on relying on their own resources. 

Almost half (49 percent) of respondents said they’re likely to connect home and security monitoring devices within the next three years, with home automation devices following closely behind, cited by 48 percent.

iThe participants revealed that they expect help with both simple and complex connections. More than two-thirds (67 percent) said they’re not confident enough to install complex solutions on their own.

Meanwhile, only 44 percent said they are somewhat confident about completing simple, single-device installations, and 84 percent would seek support from a technical resource when connecting between two and five devices.

Connected technology companies should have good software and a reputation for good service if they’re to attract the attention of consumers, and personal interaction will continue to be an important factor.

Read more: Smart home device metadata offers hackers insight into residents’ habits

Putting customers first

As far as customer support is concerned, 74 percent of consumers prefer to speak to technicians over phone calls, and 58 percent said customer reputation is an important factor when choosing a technical provider.

Consumers also place a heavy emphasis on the availability of Pay TV field technicians – 89 percent of respondents said they’d choose a Pay TV service if the company also provided smart home connection support.

“Survey respondents have predicted that professional, technical resources will play a significant role in bridging the gap between consumers and the world of devices around us,” said Chad Dunavant, vice president of product management at CSG International.

“CSG’s Workforce Express enables a mobile workforce of 65,000 of the Pay TV industry’s field technicians who are already receiving service requests for smart devices such as TVs, phones and home security. There is a clear opportunity for Pay TV providers to evolve the skills of their field service technicians to capitalise on the growing consumer-based IoT market,” he added. 

Read more: Cyber amateurs protect smart home from real-time invasion

Transformative tech

Dr Kevin Curran, senior member of the IEEE and professor of computer science at the University of Ulster, maintains that IoT will transform the way consumers interact with the world around them.

“The Internet of Things [IoT] will offer the ability for consumers to interact with nearly every appliance and device they own. For example, a refrigerator could let the consumer know when the milk is low or a dishwasher can inform it’s owner when it is ready to be emptied,” he said.

“It is entirely possible that consumers will be getting more text messages from their devices than human beings in the near future. We are seeing elements of the IoT in the marketplace already, with home automation having a strong consumer pull, from controlling the lights and temperature to closing the garage door while away from the home.”

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Internet of Business

Why Entrepreneurs Should Care Less About Disrupting and More About Creating

If you’re an entrepreneur or aspiring to become one, Tim O’Reilly is the kind of mentor you should try to enlist. He’s been there and done that in the New Economy since, well, pretty much since there’s been a New Economy.

O’Reilly started writing technical manuals in the late 1970s, and by the early 1980s, he was publishing them, too. His company, O’Reilly Media Inc. (formerly O’Reilly R. Associates), based in Sebastopol, California, helped pioneer online publishing, and in the early 1990s, it launched the first web portal, Global Network Navigator, which AOL acquired in 1995.

Since then, O’Reilly has been an active participant in a host of developments from open source to Gov 2.0 to the maker movement. He is founding partner of San Francisco-based O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures LLC, an early stage venture investor, and he sits on a number of boards, including Code for America Labs Inc., PeerJ, Civis Analytics Inc., and Popvox Inc. He has also garnered a huge Twitter following @timoreilly.

In his new book, WTF?, O’Reilly takes issue with the vogue for disruption. “The point of a disruptive technology is not the market or competitors that it destroys. It is the new markets and the new possibilities that it creates,” he writes. “I spend a lot of time urging Silicon Valley entrepreneurs to forget about disruption, and instead to work on stuff that matters.” In the following excerpt, edited for space, O’Reilly shares “four litmus tests” for figuring out what that means to you.


MIT Sloan Management Review