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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Leeds hospitals choose Zebra for smart patient wristbands

Leeds hospitals choose Zebra for smart patient wristbands

Leeds Teaching Hospitals National Health Service (NHS) Trust (LTHT) is using technology from Zebra Technologies to help it better track patient journeys using wristbands.

Wristbands have long been worn by patients as identification devices, and used to help staff track patients’ needs and their routes around a hospital. But on its own, a wristband can be an imperfect solution.

Zebra Technologies’ Scan4Safety programme uses a special wristband printer, the Zebra HC100 printer, along with Z-Band Ultrasoft wristbands as the core of a system which provides enhanced patient tracking services.

The printer produces a wristband that’s compatible with the Scan4Safety barcode identification programme, which allows a hospital to track a patient all the way through their hospital journey, from admission to discharge. Wristbands are printed for Accident and Emergency admissions, for example, and for newborns.

Speaking to Internet of Business, Zebra’s EMEA healthcare director Wayne Miller explained: “The new wristband enables a digital voice for the patient, taking the patient’s ID data placed into a barcode – name, date of birth and NHS number. This digital voice becomes the password to the patient’s electric file. Scan4Safety records the ‘who, what, when, where’ for patient care, allowing an accurate record for both safety and accountancy.”

Read more: Healthcare applications to drive wearable device boom

Safety at scale

Scanning wristbands at each point of care, the hospital can better ensure patients receive the right treatment, reducing errors and delays. Leeds Teaching Hospitals National Health Service (NHS) Trust (LTHT) is one of the largest teaching hospitals in Europe, with more than 17,000 staff across seven hospitals. It uses in excess of 250,000 wristbands per year.

The Scan4Health system uses GS1 global standards for capturing and sharing information. This is the standard that the Department of Health has set as the standard for care in the UK by 2019, so the system is helping Leeds Teaching Hospitals National Health Service (NHS) Trust (LTHT) move towards compliance.

The system has been well-received by clinical staff. The Zebra HC100 printers are small, reliable and easy to use. Wristbands are printed from fast-load cartridges that remove the complexity of media loading associated with traditional barcode printers. Moreover, the wristbands are made of healthcare plastics that support LTHT’s infection control regime.

Other Trusts including Plymouth Hospital NHS Trust, North Tees and Salisbury have either deployed or are trialling the Zebra solution, and early results from six pilot projects suggest that Scan4Safety has the potential to save lives, as well as potentially save the NHS up to £1 billion over seven years.

Miller says that the technology also has applications outside of hospital environments, in other healthcare situations. “Can we extend the use of the digital voice outside the hospital? Yes we can,” he told Internet of Business. “It may not be in the form of a wristband, but we can use other methods, such as ID cards, prescriptions with a barcode and, in the coming years, personal electronic devices such as smartphones with biometric readers.”

Read more: Chelsea and Westminster Hospital to deploy sensors in intensive care units

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Internet of Business

Put Health Data on Lockdown: How Hospitals Can Keep Patient Information Secure

Put Health Data on Lockdown: How Hospitals Can Keep Patient Information Secure

Put Health Data on Lockdown: How Hospitals Can Keep Patient Information Secure

Posted by Marc.

As we approach 2018, there are more things now than ever that are putting patients’ lives at risk. Not only are people distracted by their devices and causing injury to themselves and others, but the devices themselves can cause harm to an entire hospital. Cybercriminals are setting their sights on the medical field, stealing patient data in hopes of a large ransom payout. As a result, user confidence in the privacy of wearable, IoT devices remains low—especially potential consumers of the age-in-place market.

Without access to patients’ records, doctors and nurses can prescribe incorrect medications or perform procedures that can result in deadly consequences. That being said, there’s little medical professionals can do since there aren’t many rules and regulations related to handling situations like these. Although many smart home devices related to optimal health target the age-in-place market, IoT web developers need to keep an eye on data privacy and information security measures in order to be successful with baby boomers and older consumers, who tend to be suspicious of devices with GPS tracking and constant connectedness.

Does that mean hospitals are now forever doomed to be the personal piggybank of hackers everywhere? Hardly. As the healthcare profession utilizes the benefits of becoming more technologically advanced, there are things that can be done to keep patient data safe from potential data breaches.

It Starts with Employees

All it takes is one person to unintentionally allow hackers to access patient data. By holding security workshops and training sessions on HIPAA violations and password advice, it’ll make patient data that much safer.

Even with training, it’s important to limit the number of people who can access patient information to only the employees who need to access it. When restricting viewing privileges, authentication procedures should be put in place to increase data security. There more steps a person needs to take to validate their identity, the better.

Also, since employees will have probably have one or more personal devices on them, it’s best to institute a mobile device policy. Since hackers can gain access to important medical records through IoT such as mobile phones, it’s best to have rules and regulations on what can be downloaded and used on these devices.

Responsible Data Usage

Effective data management is paramount in this age of technology. There are many tools that can be used to further protect health data. By incorporating data controls, certain actions can be prevented from happening in the first place. Data sets can also be classified with different kinds of blocks depending on each set’s protection needs.

Having a login tracking tool is useful to see who is accessing information on which device, what location, and what date and time. This information becomes crucial if a hospital happens to suffer from a data breach in being able to pinpoint how it happened and what can be done to prevent cyberattacks in the future.

Although having a malicious stranger be in possession of important patient information isn’t good in anyone’s book, hospitals can negate some of the complications involved by having off-site data backups. Data can be protected even more by encrypting it so that if hackers were able to get their hands on it, they wouldn’t be able to make heads or tails of it, rendering it useless to them.

It’s even suggested to store physical medical records off-site as an extra safety precaution. However, hospitals should be wary of using cloud data services as their backup since fourth amendment rights can be removed. Once patient information is no longer needed, it is then suggested to regularly delete unnecessary data.

Make Network Security a Priority

Many hackers can find their way in through a shoddy network, which is why it’s important for healthcare professionals to make theirs as secure as possible. Having up-to-date firewalls and the latest antivirus software are must haves, but having safeguards in case of a breach is just as crucial. This includes using multiple networks so that if one gets compromised, a cybercriminal will not have access to all information.

With the use of wireless networks becoming more widespread, it’s integral that certain security steps are taken since these kinds of networks are more susceptible to cyberattacks. The first thing that needs to be done is to make sure the router that is being used is not outdated with security measures that cannot protect against advanced hacking methods. Additionally, networks shouldn’t be made available to other devices, and passwords should be changed on a regular basis.

When it comes to IoT usage in hospital settings, it’s best that they have their own network altogether. IoT devices are usually much easier for cybercriminals to hack, giving them a way to access valuable patient data. Prevent this by regularly monitoring the IoT network for any unusual activity, using authentication processes, and keeping up with each devices’ software updates. Also, we should keep track of policies and legislation advocating an IoT security standard, as was recently advocated on IoT Business News.

Although it may feel like there’s nothing hospitals can do when facing the possible threat of a data breach, the healthcare profession is not without defense against the onslaught of criminal cyber activity. By educating employees, monitoring data usage, and securing networks, medical professionals can focus more on taking care of patients instead of taking care of cyberattacks.

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IoT Business News

OnKöl remote patient monitoring uses Gemalto IoT connectivity

OnKöl remote patient monitoring uses Gemalto IoT connectivity

Gemalto announces the use of its IoT connectivity technology in OnKöl’s mHealth solution.

Enabled by Gemalto’s wireless module, the smart hub connects the elderly and those with special needs to their family and caregivers, allowing them to live in their own home safely, independently and comfortably.

With the population of older individuals due to double in size by 20301 and the ratio of potential caregivers to decrease by over fifty percent2, new technology must rise to meet the need for quality care. However, adoption rates amongst elderly patients have been low as current mHealth options are often too complicated.

Designed for stylish simplicity, the award-winning OnKöl hub removes barriers to technology adoption and encourages engagement without intimidation. Straight out of the box, it can notify family members, caregivers, and even medical professionals of everything from vital signs to medication reminders to emergency response situations.

OnKol smart hubEquipped with Gemalto’s M2M module, the above remote patient monitoring services are securely managed over-the-air to simplify deployment, personalization and software updates. The patient can easily connect health and home monitoring devices, like blood pressure cuffs, heart-monitors, and smoke detectors, and Gemalto’s module encrypts and sends the gathered information to the OnKöl platform where it is delivered to caregivers and can even be logged into the patients’ electronic medical records.

Executive Comments:

Erich Jacobs, CEO, OnKöl:
“Gemalto’s reputation, wide variety of high quality, industrial-grade modules and breadth of mHealth experience convinced us that their technology was the best fit for our product. It allowed us to deliver a hub that is effortless to set up, use, and scale to support OnKöl business growth in the future.”

Rodrigo Serna, SVP Mobile and IoT Services, Americas, Gemalto:

“We were able to work with OnKöl to create an innovative product that has not yet been seen in the market and is customized to its end user’s specific needs. By enabling simple and reliable communication, Gemalto and OnKöl are helping older individuals to maintain their independence and create peace of mind for their caregivers.”

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IoT Business News

Big Data and IT Talent Drive Improved Patient Outcomes at Schumacher Clinical Partners

Schumacher Clinical Partners (SCP) staffs and operates more than 400 emergency departments and hospital medicine programs throughout the United States, treating some 8 million patients annually. The company, based in Lafayette, Louisiana, manages electronic medical record, coding, billing, and back-end reimbursements on its platform. Like many health care organizations, changing consumer expectations, new regulations, and an influx of patient data has created a perfect storm for SCP to rethink how it leverages digital tools to better serve patients and providers.

MIT Sloan Management Review guest editor Gerald C. Kane spoke with SCP’s chief information officer Chris Cotteleer about how digital transformation through data and analytics makes his organization more efficient, improves patient outcomes, and offers attractive work environments for health care providers.

MIT Sloan Management Review: How do you use data and analytics insight to change the way you make decisions?

Cotteleer: Our goal is to get the right doctor or clinician into the right facility at the right time for the patient to walk through the door and be treated well. We take a very operation-centered approach to information; it’s not unlike a supply chain. We’ve got a supply of patients coming in — an infinite queue with spikes in demand. They need to be served, and we’ve got to get providers on the ground to do that.

To meet patient demand, we spend a lot of time trying to predict what’s going to happen — accounting for changes like surges and seasonality — and for that, having patient chart information is very important, so we can tell that a Triage Acuity 5 [lower level of support needed] takes a little bit of time, or a Triage Acuity 1 [a higher level of support] will take more. Depending on the blend of what’s occurring in that emergency department, we might staff an extra NP/PA [nurse practitioner or physician’s assistant] or an extra doctor, and all of that goes to cost and quality of care.

I read somewhere that you’re working on something called “syndromic surveillance.” Can you tell me a little bit about that?

Cotteleer: We’re on the precipice of that. It’s a real driver for us. Call it “syndromic surveillance” or call it “better operations” — we want to know, for example, if we’re experiencing an uptick in the flu, because that has real implications to our patients. If we see more cases of a condition, we can then shift our staffing levels in near-real time to adjust for that uptick and continue a high level of service. We’re working with academia and others to beat the CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] in time to deliver information. And I say that with pride, because the CDC is pretty great at what it does, and we want to be thought of in the same breath.

What are the things you’re most excited about coming down the pipeline in the next few years that will influence you or the way you do business?

Cotteleer: Blockchain technology, where I can have an inalienable, parse-able, and additive record. We’re looking at it, and insurers are starting to get into it. If you manage it like a contract — a contract for wellness, if you will — it’s very applicable. Something occurs and I generate the initial blockchain, then I add things and throughout the episode of care, I can always refer back. I have an inalienable chain of evidence where only the people who need to be involved are involved, and it can parse out value to the individuals who deserve it.

MACRA [Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015] is the upcoming change in how health care is reimbursed; it’s going to change the industry. Right now what happens is, you break an arm and pay a fee for service. In the future, it’s going to be results based. It’s not whether I fix your broken leg; it’s whether you can walk again. MACRA is going to change it and say, at first you get an incentive to get a good result. But over time, that’s going to change into a penalty when clinicians don’t achieve positive outcomes.

Well, how does one manage that? That’s where blockchain applications come in. In order for us to be able to parse that, first we have to capture it and measure it. And then we have to be able to go back through it and see who participated. What you’re talking about is a value chain. You’re taking an event and you’re capturing all the evidence and participants in that value chain that results in a well patient and a reimbursement. Now we have to be reciprocal with everybody in that value chain to make sure that everybody gets compensated in a way that they can continue to do that. Because if you can’t continue to do it at a profit, or at least break even, you’re going to go out of business, and that doesn’t suit the value chain.

How do you balance trying to keep the trains running and exploring something new at the same time?

Cotteleer: You get very good at segmentation, compartmentalizing, and knowing what your priorities are and sticking to them. Operationally, we have an A and an I Team.

The A Team is responsible for keeping the trains on the tracks, as you said. We have had fires, hurricanes, and flooding in Lafayette, and we have not missed a beat. Knock on wood, we are 99.999% up.

The I Team [which stands for “integration”] is charged with chasing the next big opportunity. My senior vice president is on the integration team with me, along with a couple of vice presidents, and a couple of top managers. They make sure integrations succeed from a technology perspective. Organizationally, we have an integration PMO [Program Management Office] that helps take some of the load and looks upstream to indicate to us what’s coming down, and help us prioritize so we get the right people on the right jobs at the right time. It’s a balancing act. And our executive team here, I’ve got to tell you, is actually pretty good.

Do you have all the talent you need to make this happen? What skills do you look for when hiring IT talent?

Cotteleer: Do we have enough talent? No. Are we looking for more? Yes. Is it hard to find? Really good talent is. What do we look for? Vision isn’t enough; it’s necessary, but not sufficient. You need strategy and execution, and that means a sort of je ne sais quoi. There’s a passion inside that I look for. We have 133 people on staff in IT, and I try to interview everybody who comes through the door. And I look for the same thing: Technology we can teach in a lot of cases, or we can rent. I’m looking for people who can think.

I’ve got people who are very deep in a specific technology, and we need them for specific things. But what I really need is someone who can say, “I understand this problem and how technology can enable a solution.” Or, “I see that opportunity, and here’s the technology to bring to bear.” Because most of the stuff we’re doing today didn’t exist 10 years ago.

Do physicians say, “There’s an advanced digital infrastructure, this is a good place to work?”

Cotteleer: I believe if you talked to our chief medical officer, he would say physicians absolutely come here because they’re attracted to our platforms and technologies, because it allows them to serve their patients well, efficiently. You know what physicians, in my anecdotal experience, don’t like doing? Spending 15 minutes with a patient only to spend an hour on the EMR [electronic medical record]. We work on technologies to streamline their interaction with the computer so they can focus on what they want to do, which is to serve patients. Absolutely, I think they come to us for the technology we can offer.

All of our physicians can log onto a secure portal and check their performance. Every doctor can see how they’re doing with respect to all of their peers at their facility and across the country. We measure that down to the provider level.

Do they appreciate that data-driven feedback?

Cotteleer: They love it. It results in better doctors and happier patients. If a chart needs more information, we can return it to a doctor electronically. They can fix it right away and move on, which has economic and quality benefits to us and the patient.

Can you give us a vignette of what you offer doctors to make their process easier, and to make a better patient experience than another hospital?

Cotteleer: Sure — a doctor comes in. Has the choice between us and one of our competitors. We say to him, “Hey, doctor, you know what? With me you’re always going to know where you stand vis-à-vis your peers, and you always know what you’re going to get paid.” And remember, he’s an ER physician. He didn’t pick the easy route; he picked the toughest 90 seconds of your life every night for the next 25 years of his life. This is, in general, a competitive, highly intelligent individual. Giving them feedback through data like this is enormously attractive to them.

Not only that, if you get a chart deficiency — meaning we require more information — we’ve made it as easy as humanly possible. It’s a one-stop shop. You log in, single sign-on. Everything at your control panel to run your emergency room life is there, from scheduling through compensation. The entire spectrum of their experience here is accessed through consolidated touch points, and that’s very attractive to them.


MIT Sloan Management Review