Connected medication compliance monitoring solutions in Europe to reach 2.2 million by 2022

Connected medication compliance monitoring solutions in Europe to reach 2.2 million by 2022

Connected medication compliance monitoring solutions in Europe to reach 2.2 million by 2022

According to a new research report from Berg Insight, the market for medication compliance monitoring solutions is still in an early stage with an estimated 138,000 connected devices in use in EU28+2 at the end of 2016.

However, there are several promising business models for medication adherence solutions that are rolling out on the market. Berg Insight forecasts that the number of connected medication compliance monitoring solutions in EU28+2 will grow at a CAGR of 58 percent to reach 2.2 million by 2022.

Martin Bäckman, IoT Analyst, Berg Insight, says:

“Substantial business opportunities are emerging for solutions targeted at the social care sector. There is an opportunity to leverage medication dispensing solutions as a replacement for manual labour. Many patients rely on frequent visits from their home care provider for medication dispensing. Many of these visits can be reduced or eliminated through the use of medication dispensing solutions.”

Pharmaceutical companies have launched the first connected medication monitoring solutions that are bundled together with specific drugs. In this market, increased adherence can improve treatment outcomes as well as increase the sale of prescription medications. The costs of an adherence monitoring system can in many cases be offset by a small increase in the sale of drugs. Furthermore, monitoring solutions can be very useful for drugs that have side effects or limited efficiency when adherence is poor.

Another target market is payers, which can reduce their total healthcare expenditures by decreasing indirect costs that arise from non-compliance. A barrier to adoption in this market may still be the limited clinical proof available on the positive effects that a specific adherence solution has on the total healthcare costs.

The Netherlands became the first country to implement a reimbursement code for medication dispensing, enabling home care providers to use a remotely monitored medication dispensing solution to replace some home visits. There is also strong interest from home care providers and municipalities for this use case in the Nordic countries.

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Change is coming to ‘stagnant’ wearables market as heart rate sensors claim accurate monitoring

Today’s continuous monitoring tech is shifting the consumer mindset away from a reactive monitoring approach to a proactive one. And this is having a dramatic effect on the market for wearable technologies, as Jeremy Cowan reports. 

Instead of waiting for annual visits to the  doctor to get results for blood pressure and other vital signs, consumers want real-time information about their health status. So says Sui Shieh who is vice president, Industrial and Healthcare Business Unit at one wearables manufacturer, Maxim Integrated.

This shift is causing an increased demand for accurate, small, and low-power wearable devices, said to be an important enabler for this new way of thinking. As continuous monitoring and preventive healthcare become more common, both technology providers and health practitioners must embrace and accommodate these new demands to be successful, he believes.

“Global healthcare costs are high and growing,” says Sui, “with spend now running at 10% of gross domestic product (GDP) – in the US it’s $ 9 trillion. The consumer mindset is moving from reeactive to proactive, with prevention and early detection (of illness) by fitness apps, and chronic disease monitoring” with healthcare devices. But, as he goes on to say, fitness apps generally give little information; that’s why the market has been stagnant for two years.

“The market is there,” he says, “with six million users in 2016 rising to 50 million in 2021, according to analysts, Berg Insight. Our customers are now looking for clinical-grade performance (with US Food & Drug Administration certification), the longest battery life, a small size, and high accuracy.”

Sui Shieh: Wearables market is shifting towards prevention and early detection of illness

Maxim believes that it’s now able to meet these requirements. Through compact, low power solutions, it has a new range of devices that enable accurate monitoring of vital signs to monitor wellness/fitness and prevent health problems before they even begin.

Maxim’s portfolio of sensors for wearable health and fitness applications allows consumers to accurately monitor a variety of key vital signs while being mindful of low power (for longer battery life) and small size (for convenience and comfort). The MAX86140 and MAX86141 can be used to measure PPG signals on the wrist, finger, and ear to detect heart rate, heart rate variability, and pulse oximetry.

The MAX30001 measures ECG and BioZ on the chest and wrist to detect heart rate, respiration, and arrhythmias. Compared to competitive solutions, the MAX86140 and MAX86141 is claimed to require less than half the power and is approximately one third smaller, while the MAX30001 requires approximately half the power in almost half the size. By collecting beat to beat data about the heart, these solutions collect accurate data so users can recognize important symptoms when they first begin. In addition, the MAX30001 meets IEC60601-2-47, clinical ECG standards.

“The convergence of clinical grade diagnostics in form factors small enough to integrate into all sorts of smart, everyday clothing is impressive,” said Adrian Straka, director of Hardware and Manufacturing, SKIIN. “The ultra-small MAX30001 enables SKIIN’s bio-sensing underwear to monitor and track health […]

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PodM2M Connects TAHMO IoT Weather Monitoring Systems to Remedy Chronic Hunger in Africa

PodM2M Connects TAHMO IoT Weather Monitoring Systems to Remedy Chronic Hunger in Africa

PodM2M Connects TAHMO IoT Weather Monitoring Systems to Remedy Chronic Hunger in Africa

PodM2M1 has today announced that it is providing its resilient “Best Signal” IoT connectivity solution to the Trans-African Hydro-Meteorological Observatory (TAHMO), a socially driven network of 20,000 connected weather monitoring stations every 30km across the African continent, to accurately measure previously undocumented weather systems.

One in four people in sub-Saharan Africa is undernourished. A lack of climatic information across this vast continent makes it difficult to plan a cropping strategy which would go some way to remedying the chronic hunger. Using a combination of weather pattern data and predictive computer models gathered by TAHMO, farmers in Africa can more efficiently plan their crop cycles, improve water productivity by up to 26% and plant more crops, with the risk of failure due to drought or flooding severely diminished.

TAHMO’s requirements for transmitting climate data across a huge distance, from different countries and in an extremely patchy coverage environment made choosing a sufficiently resilient IoT connectivity solution difficult, as many multi-network solutions are not able to transmit data efficiently across borders, and many operators are simply not present in the areas of Africa that benefit from TAHMO’s system.

Pod’s Best Signal Multi-Network SIMs connect to the best available signal on device start-up, and automatically switch networks in case of signal loss. This provides the TAHMO team with the resilient connectivity they need to measure weather systems across multiple countries without risk of losing valuable data. Thanks to Pod’s coverage in 185+ countries and over 600 networks, TAHMO has no problem collecting results from all the countries their devices are present in, and is assured of receiving the best possible coverage in Africa, as well as in US and European partner bases.

Rebecca Hochreutener, TAHMO Operations Manager, immediately recognized the advantages of PodM2M’s specialist remote and mission-critical IoT SIM cards; “Although connectivity in Africa is not always simple, PodM2M has been able to provide reliable services and a very good and responsive support team,” she commented.

Charles Towers-Clark, Managing Director of Pod Group added:

“TAHMO´s application is an excellent example of how the IoT can vastly improve standards of living and help to resolve some of the world´s most complex problems. We are extremely excited that our specialist mission critical connectivity is helping to make this project possible.”

1PodM2M (a division of Pod Group) is a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) specializing in global, mission critical connectivity solutions for the M2M/IoT market

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Real-time disease monitoring unearths power of IoT in agriculture

Real-time disease monitoring unearths power of IoT in agriculture

A new IoT solution, enabling real-time disease monitoring of crops, sees air sampling equipment combined with cellular connectivity and cloud services to boost yields.

Crop infections from pathogens such as bacteria, viruses and fungi have been an issue for farmers ever since we started leaving our hunter-gatherer origins behind and putting down roots. They damage plants, impact quality and limit yield – sometimes devastating whole crops, when they go unchecked.

In the face of an ever-growing global population, agriculture must tackle the daunting task of feeding ourselves sustainably. Current projections indicate that food production must increase by 70 percent by 2050 to meet these needs. The IoT stands to play a huge part in achieving this goal.

Currently, over one billion people face malnutrition due to poor food supply and around twice that lack the nutrients and vitamins required to meet their daily needs. The causes behind the decline of productive agricultural land are multifarious – but the damage caused by pathogens plays a key role, causing 20 to 40 percent of crop losses. Wheat, the source of our bread and pasta, regularly falls prey, suffering around 50 percent losses as a result.

How IoT can boost crop yields

Undoubtedly then, disease monitoring and prevention is central to enhancing yields, Current lab-based techniques, such as polymerase chain reaction [PCR], immunofluorescence [IF] and fluorescence in-situ hybridization [FISH], are expensive and time-consuming.

A new collaboration between scientific equipment producers Burklard, Eseye’s global cellular connectivity and Amazon Web Services [AWS] IoT has created a framework for combatting the problem. Their monitoring solution provides constant air-quality analytics and an early warning system that allows farmers to take targeted action.

Burklard have been in the business of designing and building air samplers for agricultural research since 1953. Their latest product, the Automatic Multi-Vial Cyclone Sampler was developed as part of the UK Government’s Innovate UK project. It offers real-time rapid detection of airborne spore and particle matter, while low energy consumption allows it to be solar powered.

Read more: Italian start-up Evja launches smart agriculture platform for salad growers

From the field to the cloud

The Auto Samplers reside in the farmer’s fields, remotely collecting and analysing spores with what’s known as a LAMP assay – a low-cost, single tube technique for the amplification of DNA. This data is communicated back to the farmer using Eseye’s AnyNet Secure global cellular connectivity and stored within AWS cloud services.

The Eseye Hera 604 (with add-on logger functionality) stores the data and publishes it to AWS. This cloud-based service reduces the need for expensive in-house infrastructure. AWS IoT Gateway tools also do the mathematics behind the forecasting and provide the means to quickly analyse data at scale – allowing farmers to easily see which fields are at risk and treat their crops.

The setup provides farmers with instant access to tailored information from their own fields and complete control over that data. Until now, other solutions may be positioned over 100 miles away from their crops, making farmers reliant on disease forecasts and general predictions. Given the localised nature of pathogens, there is no guarantee the data applies to their own fields.

This means that farmers could be unnecessarily spraying their crops, or neglecting to when needed. Ensuring that herbicides are used as required reduces waste, increases productivity and benefits the environment.

Read more: Dell takes a fresh look at IoT with Aerofarms

What this means for agriculture

“We are finally giving farmers an answer to their concerns over the ramifications of crop disease,” explains Stuart Wili, managing director at Burklard. “This not only provides peace of mind, but the solution also supports the environment and saves precious time, resources and ultimately money.”

“Looking to the future, we plan to roll out the technology across the globe, particularly in developing countries, where the importance of farming is far higher, and therefore the need to prevent disease to ensure a healthy crop is even greater.”

Historically, Burklard used a general modem and SIM card to send alert texts to farmers. The unreliability of rural connectivity presented signal issues, meaning they were constantly changing providers. With AnyNet technology, users can connect to up to 440 cellular operators across 190 countries.

“With the AnyNet Secure SIM, farmers don’t need to rely on single local network coverage, which often can’t be guaranteed,” says Stuart Wili. “Instead they can be assured accurate data from the field is being securely and accurately transmitted back to the server, without any concern over connectivity, the AnyNet Secure SIM will utilise any and all connectivity available.”

Read more: Agrifac and Bilberry team up to beat weeds on Aussie farms

Future of real-time disease monitoring

Paul Marshall, chief customer officer was eager to emphasize the impact the collaboration could have on disease monitoring: “Eseye’s work with Burkard and AWS is a prime example of the range of economic, social and environmental benefits which can be reaped through IoT.”

The internet of things is transforming agriculture, helping to create near-perfect growing conditions, monitor machinery and oversee animal welfare. There are myriad opportunities to record data and empower farmers to make informed decisions.

Beyond the arable landscape, the impact of real-time disease monitoring could have a tremendous impact on healthcare. Newly developed DNA/RNA-based affinity biosensors, not unlike that deployed by Burklard, use nucleic acid fragments for pathogen detection.

The identification of specific DNA sequences could play an important role in the future of clinical human disease monitoring and environmental preservation, alerting us to the presence of disease before symptoms appear – prevention rather than cure.

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Nest Secure monitoring will cost you, but… will you pay?

If you’re buying into the Nest Secure security system and want professional system monitoring, it’s going to cost you. We knew this when Nest introduced its product in September, but what we didn’t know was the pricing specifics. And now we do.

Customers who choose to have their Nest Secure monitored by MONI’s 7 by 24 service, will pay $ 24.99 a month with a three year commitment. Those who don’t want a three-year contract can do so at a price of $ 34.99 a month. The subscription also includes a cellular backup service for the Nest system; you can pay $ 5 a month for that separately if you don’t want professional monitoring, according to the Nest Secure product page.

These prices are separate from the optional Nest Aware subscription that has been available for some time. Consumers with Nest cameras can pay $ 10 a month (or $ 100 yearly) for the Basic Nest Aware plan, which provides a 10-day video history, intelligent alerts, clips and timelapse videos and the creation of activity zones. For $ 30 monthly (or $ 300 a year) the Extended Nest Aware plan boosts the video history to 30 days.

Part of me is surprised that Nest Secure is priced roughly the same as you’d find from many current and legacy home security providers. With these monitoring cost options, there’s little to differentiate Nest from other home security vendors.

Even as a product, I’m not sure the $ 499 Nest Secure offers a huge difference or step forward from what’s available in competing home security hardware, plus it costs more than comparable systems. The recently introduced Wink Lookout will only set you back $ 199, for example, as does the Ring Protect.

Nest Secure may be a little easier to arm or disarm, and the Nest Tag is certainly convenient. And integrations with Nest’s cameras and thermostats may be compelling. But open/close door sensors, motion detection, audible alarms and keypads are all table stakes today for home security. Add in either a contract or a $ 35 monthly fee for professional services and you could be describing any company in this space.

In fact, you could be describing MONI itself. Although Nest has contracted with MONI to handle the Nest Secure monitoring, MONI itself sells home security systems. And like the traditional security model, it provides the equipment for free but customers pay between $ 39.99 and $ 59.99 a month for the monitoring service. The company is reportedly the second largest home security monitoring company in the US (behind ADT) and also has more than 600 dealers in North America.

It may make sense for Nest to contract out the monitoring aspect of its security product rather than build it from scratch. But I suspect that many Nest Secure customers will simply stick with a lower cost Nest Aware service and rely on smartphone alerts from their Nest Cams and the Nest Guard centralized “brains” of Nest Secure.

Maybe I’ve just been in the DIY (do it yourself) camp for too long though. I’d be curious to hear from readers if they’re interested in the Nest Secure as a product first and also if the professional service is appealing too.


Stacey on IoT | Internet of Things news and analysis