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Upgrade An Existing Medical Device by Expanding Connectivity to a Smartphone or Tablet

Medical device manufacturers should always be on the lookout for valuable market opportunities. Investments to update legacy devices can help augment your product’s service life and broaden your availability across worldwide markets. One solution is to augment an existing medical device by connecting it to a cellular/Bluetooth gateway, enabling it to communicate with a mobile device (smartphone or tablet).

These options include using network communication modules and integrating mobile apps for both iOS and Android users. However, the requirements for medical devices vary based on numerous factors including performance, regulatory compliance, and budget. This post will focus only on extending connectivity by using a gateway module for both WiFi, Bluetooth and cell networks. We'll take a look at some of the most important questions that need to be asked before making a final decision and provide answers where possible.

Do you have a medical device that is still stable and reliable but lacks a modern look and user interface?

You can improve usability and extend your medical device lifespan by connecting it to mobile devices. Mobile devices are widely used and offer a modern user interface, which makes them ideal options for device updates without the need for completely refactoring your existing software.

Your device will be much more intuitive and easy to use when connected to a smartphone or tablet. Plus, if you’re using an old-fashioned device, you can avoid the trouble and expense of having to refactor your existing software by simply connecting it with a mobile app.

By connecting your medical device with smartphones or tablets, you can improve usability, decrease costs, and extend the lifespan of your equipment.

Do you have a competitor that has leaped past you in connective capabilities? 

Connectivity can open up a world of possibilities in the medical industry.

Adding wireless capability to your existing medical device is easier than you might think. Gateway modules can connect serially to your device and open up the possibilities of remote connectivity, as well as providing a simple way to monitor device usage and maintain battery life.

One possible solution for adding wireless capability is the Espressif ESP32. The ESP32 has built-in Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), WiFi, and 2G/3G/4G cellular connectivity. It also has low power consumption, which can be important for maintaining device battery life.

Q: Are you missing opportunities to serve your customers because your devices are not cloud connected?

Internet of Things (IoT) technologies can help you improve customer service and device performance by analyzing data collected from your connected devices.

By connecting devices to the cloud, you can gain insights into device usage and help improve performance. For example, if your device is not functioning properly, cloud connectivity will allow you to analyze data about how often it is used and how it is being used. This information can help you determine whether a user needs additional training or a different type of device to address their needs.

Cloud connectivity also allows you to easily collect data from multiple users in the same practice or office, so that you can better understand how your product is performing throughout a facility. This information can help inform decisions about future product development, marketing campaigns, and sales strategies.

Q: What are some advantages of connecting to a patient’s personal phone?

The sleek user interface of today’s medical devices is a major driving factor for patient preference. Adding the capability to use a patient’s mobile phone as the user interface will provide several advantages including cost savings, patient familiarity with the device, mobile connectivity, and telemedicine.


Cost Savings

Using a patient’s mobile phone as a user interface eliminates the need to engineer and manufacture an additional screen inside your medical device. This can result in significant cost savings when developing your product. When combined with Bluetooth technology, the device can be controlled by a patient’s Android or iOS phone, tablet or laptop.


Patient Familiarity

Most people are familiar with how to use their smartphones, so using their phone as the user interface for medical devices may make them more comfortable with your product. The familiarity of using their own smartphone can also improve compliance since patients know how to navigate through apps on their phones.


Mobile Connectivity

By connecting your medical device to a patient’s personal phone you can provide them with care even when they are away from home or the hospital. Data about patient health can be collected via the smartphone at any time and then transmitted to healthcare providers so they have up-to-date information about their patients

 

Q: What are the security concerns of adding connectivity to medical devices?

When it comes to data and communications related to personal health information (PHI), it is imperative that you secure them. We know that navigating the ever-changing cybersecurity landscape requires deep subject matter expertise, and we have a team of experts in this area at Promenade Software. Our pre-built solutions connect to the cloud and provide the necessary cybersecurity management.

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