In today’s healthcare scenario, a patient’s expectations from a healthcare setup are growing exponentially; with the latter being increasingly perceived as a service provider. Real time record maintenance, advanced data security, anywhere access, 24×7 support, reduced physical follow up meetings are just some of the many features that have been taken for granted by the patients as standard offerings by a good & reputable healthcare service provider.
An increased focus towards improved clinical outcomes and patient safety, along with continuously evolving data privacy requirements, are pushing various healthcare establishments towards medical data standards that are inter-operable, standardized, complete, and accurate.
Medical device connectivity is the establishment and maintenance of a connection through which data is transferred between a medical device, such as a patient monitor, and an information system. The term is used interchangeably with biomedical device connectivity or biomedical device integration. By eliminating the need for manual data entry, potential benefits include faster and more frequent data updates, diminished human error, and improved workflow efficiency. Modern medical devices aim to provide tangible connectivity solutions in conjunction with targeted analytical tools that would enable the healthcare provider to bridge the gaps in traditional treatment methodology by giving what the patients want; & simultaneously fulfilling the physician’s requirements for better health outcomes.
In the United States, Health Information Technology (HIT) initiatives like “meaningful use”, Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) and the Hospital Readmission Reduction Program have created a strong push for medical device data to be integrated with Hospital Information Systems (HIS’). At the same time, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) is forcing effective remote patient monitoring to enable care providers to more effectively manage diseases and avoid penalties for excess readmissions. The net result is the requirement for device integration with a provider’s electronic medical record (EMR) system to enable remote patient monitoring.
Although many of the recent advances in medical device connectivity are currently being practiced by a few developed countries with access to excellent modern healthcare infrastructure, many more are developing national roadmaps with tenure of five or ten years in the future with focus on interoperability and electronic medical records. According to Transparency Market Research, the compound annual growth rate in the market for medical device connectivity is anticipated to reach 38% through 2019, from $3.4 billion worldwide in 2012 (source).
Increasing acceptance of medical device connectivity is going to significantly reduce costs for the entire health ecosystem while simultaneously improving the quality of care of billions of people connected to the healthcare delivery systems.