Remote SIM provisioning transforms the mobile healthcare experience

Remote SIM provisioning is a vital enabler for machine-to-machine (M2M) and Internet of Things (IoT) technology, providing a simplified, secure and seamless mobile connection for all types of connected machines and devices. The benefits are multi-dimensional and touch every aspect of the product lifecycle, from manufacturing all the way through to user experience.

Based on the GSMA Remote Provisioning Architecture for embedded universal integrated circuit cards (eUICC), the Arkessa reprogrammable SIM solution is transforming the way original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) design and deploy enterprise-grade IoT solutions. OEMs can now build global connectivity into their products for a superior user experience usually only seen with premium smartphone or e-reader devices. Of course, IoT devices do not typically have screens or user-operators, which makes the network services themselves the critical components in delivering a zero-touch provisioning and operational experience.

Arguably one of the most compelling connected health products to launch in 2018 is Actiste, a mobile health solution that simplifies insulintreated diabetes by gathering and sharing personal health data between patients and healthcare professionals through a connected pocket-sized device.

Actiste, developed by Brighter AB, will be marketed and sold as a service to both consumers and the healthcare sector across the globe. The flexibility offered by eUICC is key to simplifying the go-to-market process and the customer experience by ensuring out-of-the-box connectivity, but also in localising that connectivity.

Brighter’s vision is that patients get the best possible user experience. From a connectivity point of view, this means that cellular connectivity works without intervention from the user, meaning zero-touch connectivity without the need for pairing to Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. It also means no bill shock due to unintended roaming. Data security under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is another critical dimension for Actiste users and data localisation is a key element in addressing that.

As an eUICC-enabled device, the network connectivity services for Actiste can be managed remotely and automatically via Arkessa’s MVNO services, incorporating Ericsson’s Device Connection Platform (DCP) and the Gemalto On Demand Connectivity (ODC) solution. These remote management services allow Brighter to localise or customise the connectivity services according to local regulations and geographic and commercial requirements once Actiste is in the field.

Sweden-based company Brighter was launched in order to provide services and solutions that facilitate self-care and self-monitoring for patients to help them manage their diabetes better. Actiste is its first mobile health product.

More than 422 million people suffer from diabetes. By 2040 this number is expected to rise to 642 million, according to the World Health Organisation’s Global Report on Diabetes, 2014. These figures equate to approximately 8.5% of the world’s adult population, and trends show that this number is rising, as lifestyles grow ever more sedentary and obesity and inactivity continue to cause problems for health services across the globe.

Living with insulin-treated diabetes can be challenging. Complications arising from an imbalance of insulin in the body can mean illness and discomfort for patients, and costs of millions of euros for health services.

Of course, giving patients the tools they need to manage […]

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Cellular IoT connectivity is not an internet experience, it’s a secure, dedicated connection

Analysys Mason’s research director Tom Rebbeck caught up with Arkessa chief executive, Andrew Orrock, to talk about how the barriers to IoT adoption are gradually falling, and how mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) can succeed in a market with numerous large global mobile network operators (MNOs)

Tom Rebbeck: There’s a general feeling that IoT has been a bit slower than expected to take off. Is that your feeling as well and if so, why do you think that’s the case?

Andrew Orrock: With enterprise that has been the case. We have seen concerns – around sourcing, the business case, scaling, security and platform integration – but gradually these barriers are coming down.

A lot of people think about mobile connectivity based on their experience with internet on a smartphone. This has coloured views as to what cellular means as people do not see it as a secure dedicated connection. But, once you get into the discussion about managed services, and we show that we can give customers the tools to manage and monitor the data connections, manage the billing, and provide a secure private network we can show that we are not simply connecting our customers devices to the internet – far from it. When we explain all of this to our channel partners, they realise they can go to their customers and get around the problems they have had in the past – they can show how our network infrastructure works and that it is secure and private.

TR: So it has been slow as it has taken time for people to realise what it means to using a mobile network for IoT connectivity?

AO: Yes, there has had to be some education. The idea of the traditional SIM card provided by a mobile operator essentially locks a customer in. If you are deploying devices around the world, or even across one country then the idea of single sourcing from an MNO with traditional SIM cards has been a problem.

Today the role of an MVNO is much clearer. We can provide multiple networks through a single relationship, a single contract providing commercial, technical and customer support. That creates a much better reaction in companies both small and large.

In the near future, the reprogrammable embedded subscriber identity module (eSIM) will give enterprises more comfort and more control and flexibility. The same solution will work globally with a range of different cellular technologies, from 2G to 5G and the cellular flavours of low power wide area (LPWA) technologies, like narrowband IoT (NB-IoT).

TR: Earlier you talked about the challenges of sourcing. What did you mean by that?

AO: The companies that have deployed IoT and that have shown most growth tend to be small to medium enterprises (SMEs). From a sourcing point of view, the larger enterprises manage their supplier lists quite closely and it can be difficult for SMEs to get onto these lists.

What we have found works well is to work with finished goods distributors or IT systems integrators. They are often already […]

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What Xively brings to Google’s IoT toolbox: Experience, customers and speed

Some folks are scratching their heads over Google’s intent to spend $ 50M to purchase Xively from LogMeIn. I’m not one of those folks because Xively quickly gives Google a few things that it’s lacking in this market.

It was just a few podcast episodes ago where Stacey and I were wondering, “What and where is Google’s IoT product strategy?” At the time, we didn’t see a cohesive message or product toolbox from Google like you can find for Microsoft, Amazon or IBM. To be fair, Google does have its Cloud IoT Core, which has similar capabilities to Xively, which provides an end-to-end IoT solution including device management, application support, service integration and data analytics.

Sure, Google’s Cloud products can be mashed together for all of that as well. And Google is excellent in the areas of software integrations and analytics. Device management and deployment though? There just isn’t enough history here for Google to justify saying yes. Keep in mind that the Google Cloud IoT Core was announced in May 2017 at Google I/O, so it’s not even a year old yet. Maybe that’s why when I tried to find some customer stories and case studies for it, I came up empty.

Compare that to Xively, which is ancient by IoT standards: The company launched as Pachube in 2007 and in 2011, its platform was used to connect geiger counters across Japan after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster caused by an earthquake. That same year LogMeIn purchased the company for $ 15M, rebranded it as Xively and began to expand the customer base.

In fact, on Xively’s site you’ll see customer case studies that I would have hoped to have found on Google’s Cloud IoT site: Customers such as Lutron, ShadeCraft Robotics, and Heatworks, to name a few. Lutron’s story is particularly interesting since after deciding to build connectivity in its products, it took just four months “from concept to field-ready product.”

Along with the customer base, Google is getting the experience gained from Xively as it worked with those customers. That’s because 45 Xively employees will become Googlers in the deal.

That’s equally as important as the platforms and services Xively has created over the last decade because while Google knows its own products better than anyone, it doesn’t always have the end-user customer experience to understand how its products are used. Yes, Google is great about asking for feedback. But working with industrial and commercial IoT product makers requires a more personal touch: Xively has a Professional Services group providing insight from the beginning to the end of an IoT project.

Obviously, there’s no guarantees that a Xively purchase will give Google the IoT boost it needs to better compete against Microsoft, Amazon and IBM.

But if you nose around Xively’s site like I did and then compare it to Google’s own IoT product sites, you’ll see that this is a big step in the right direction. Not only is there a cohesive messaging strategy but there are platforms, services, products and experienced people to help Google deliver on its IoT dreams.

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IoT by name or nature? Delivering experience over appearance

The last few years have seen a whole raft of IoT vanity projects, where connectivity for connectivity’s sake was the order of the day. Everything from connected loo-roll holders that warned when paper levels were low (if only there was a pre-existing, simpler way), to flip flops that had IoT capability crammed in and called ‘smart shoes’.

The practical use of these types of products being next to zero, many consumers have been driven to despair. And from a business perspective too, IoT by name rather than nature can be damaging. There is the worrying potential for organisations to divert millions of dollars into IoT projects without a clear handle on their objectives, and possibly worse, without a thorough testing plan throughout to ensure the app delivers as intended.

Gartner estimates that by 2020, there will be seven billion connected business devices out there. In this digital transformation boom, companies are investing vast sums in IoT capabilities, and the B2B IoT market is growing fast. But the question remains, how much of this growth actually benefits customers? And how can organisations ensure that when they embark on an IoT project, that the project is useful and consistently delivers the value it should to its intended audience?

Delivering real value

Instead of businesses trying to nail down their own version of what an IoT ‘vision’ should look like, perhaps everyone could be better served by taking a look at those doing it successfully and using this intelligence to optimise IoT offerings from inception to delivery. Like any other mission-critical area, IoT needs a strategy and a vision way before its inception.

Companies like Volvo Car Group seem to be doing things right. Klas Bendrik, their SVP & CIO, was at a recent awards ceremony to receive recognition for the work Volvo is doing with their connected cars and cloud technology, embracing the IoT, when he said: “We take the best available technology and make it work in the most useful way for our customers. It’s about using technology to provide tangible real-life benefits, rather than providing technology just for the sake of it.”

This is exactly the point. Other companies would do well to try and live up to approaches that deliver clear value (in this case, more efficient and/or safer cars, helping people’s journeys). If they can deliver initiatives that have real benefit for customers, this success will make the IoT ever more popular. In turn, this only makes it more valuable and relevant to day to day life and business. Therefore, performance and availability of connected devices will become key differentiators when it comes to an ever more competitive and crowded market place.

Test, test, and test again

The lesson here is that companies investing in IoT have to put the time into doing it right, and in most instances, this means proper monitoring and testing in order to guarantee continuous performance that will actually add true business value. If the idea was to create a digital app to delight customers, then it’s vital to ensure the app delivers against this vision. In short, it needs to work and stand the test of time and popularity. 

We know that connected IoT devices have a high level of dependency on speed of communication. This can open them up to issues such as unreliable network hardware or slow internet connection. Testing IoT devices to make sure that they’re not losing data, failing to respond, and work in any scenario, is imperative.

Key to the customer experience is proactively monitoring your websites and applications, not to mention APIs – and to do it 24/7 rather than intermittently. So, before your valuable customers run into a wall and start making a lot of noise about any availability or performance issues, you can already be fixing the problem. Speed is crucial; performance indicators like page load times are directly linked to a loss of views and visitors – the longer you test people’s patience, the more risk you run of losing their trade.

There are more issues to consider, cyber-crime and data privacy not least amongst them. The downside of the IoT can be a dangerous one – and embarrassing. After all, who wants to get hacked by a kettle? Testing needs to push applications on all areas of performance, including how secure they are for end users.

Making sure that we get the most out of IoT projects shouldn’t rely on an ad hoc process which concerns only a few techie individuals in any given organisation. Not so long ago, Business Insider predicted that the Internet of Things will be the largest device market in the world by 2019. In a year or so, it will be more than double the size of the smartphone, PC, tablet, connected car, and the wearable market combined. By then, let’s hope all those devices are things we need (and love!), and work with 24/7 reliability. Proper testing can enable organisations to take the first step on this journey, and deliver leading customer experience.

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Sysmex America Expands Use of ThingWorx Platform to Transform the Patient Experience

Sysmex America Expands Use of ThingWorx Platform to Transform the Patient Experience

Sysmex America Expands Use of ThingWorx Platform to Transform the Patient Experience

Remote Monitoring Enables Test Results at Point of Care in Minutes Driving Efficiencies in Health Care Services.

PTC and Sysmex America today announced that Sysmex has expanded its use of the ThingWorx® Industrial Innovation Platform to enable Sysmex to revolutionize the delivery of blood test results with the Sysmex XW-100™ automated hematology CBC analyzer.

The XW-100 is the first automated hematology analyzer developed for CLIA-waived use. Instead of sending blood samples to outside laboratories and awaiting the results, the XW-100 makes it possible for one of the most frequently requested blood tests, the CBC, to be performed in medical offices where patients are first treated. On-site blood test results are available to patients in as few as three minutes.

The pursuit of IoT innovation led Sysmex to adopt ThingWorx. The Industrial Innovation Platform enabled Sysmex to greatly expand the availability of product data and implement transformative connected solutions that were previously beyond reach. Prior to the XW-100, virtually all hematology analyzers required skilled clinical personnel to perform blood sample analysis and validate results. This ground-breaking innovation enables blood tests to be safely performed by a broader range of practitioners, improving access to and speed of care.

Sysmex blood analyzer“The Sysmex Innovation team continues to deliver exceptional value by leveraging the ThingWorx Industrial Innovation Platform,” said Ralph Taylor, chief executive officer, Sysmex America.

“The combination of the ThingWorx Industrial Innovation Platform with the XW-100 enables Sysmex to revolutionize the delivery of common blood test results by reducing time to diagnosis, enabling faster treatment plans, and improving the efficiency of health care delivery.”

“Sysmex has embraced continual innovation as an integral part of its core business model,” said Jim Heppelmann, president and CEO, PTC. “Leveraging ThingWorx enables Sysmex America to continue to deliver high-value IoT-enabled solutions to its customers and help retain its leadership position in an intensely competitive market. We congratulate Sysmex on this breakthrough technology.”

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