IOT and Big Data to Transform Pharma and Life Science Industry
By Mark Dickson, IT Director, Cochlear Americas
The internet of things (IOT) and cloud computing, specifically when there is a medical device involved, allows for the convergence of products and services, which benefits everyone in the ecosystem from patient, health care professional (HCP), insurance provider and the providing organization. Care! Whether it be curative, palliative or preventative, has the potential to benefit people exponentially, utilizing connected medical devices. Patients will benefit from real time monitoring of care, compliance to care, alerts and guidance for next steps. The connected devices will allow for tracking and monitoring throughout the life of that device, and effectiveness of it will then be processed into R&D innovation. Patients will also benefit from a faster time to market cycle as clinical trials become shorter for Pharma and Life Science companies, as they are able to collect real time data from connected devices. HCPs will benefit from seeing more new patients and less repetitive unnecessary visits. Insurance providers will also benefit from less non-value add repeat visits, as well as ensuring compliance with care programs. And of course the organizations providing these products and services will become much more efficient across R&D, clinical trials, operations and customer service. IoT and Big Data will transform patient care and reduce the number of readmissions and clinic visits through real time monitoring and guidance in their care.To revolutionize the Pharma and Life Sciences industry, partnership between R&D and IT is paramount.
For Cochlear, our first step in the journey of utilizing and showing the direct benefits of cloud computing resulted in a service called Cochlear Link. All Cochlear sound processors must be individually programmed or mapped for every cochlear implant recipient. If a recipient experiences a malfunction with the sound processor, a replacement processor needs their individualized program on it. Cochlear directly services their customers whenever they can to alleviate unnecessary clinic visits. Previously, we would have to ask a clinic to export and send the recipient’s program to us so that we could put it on the replacement processor, which is very inefficient for all involved. Cochlear Link gives us direct access to the recipient’s latest program so we no longer have to contact their clinic for it. We now have over 100 clinics connected to us through Cochlear Link, which allows us to prepare a replacement processor the same day upon notification of a malfunction.
The internet of things (IOT) which results in Big Data which opens up endless possibilities for the Pharma and Life Science industry: from being able to identify an issue before it happens, to remotely fixing a device, sending a replacement prior to malfunction, to enabling automated resupply for accessories and maintenance items. The list goes on and at the end of every day, a person’s life will be benefitted from the Pharma and Life Science industry’s technology innovation.