by Peter Rizzo, Manager of Positive Client Relations

Moderator Pete Karns leads the MassTLC panel discussing the future of healthcare and IoT, with panelists (L to R) Peter Rizzo, Denise Fletcher, and Sean Lorenz.

Moderator Pete Karns leads the MassTLC panel discussing the future of healthcare and IoT, with panelists (L to R) Peter Rizzo, Denise Fletcher, and Sean Lorenz.

Internet of Things (IoT) is a hot buzz-term being used in the tech world these days, but what is it? What does it mean? How is it related to manufacturing, to medical devices? Well, in short, it’s kind of a big deal!

IoT is a term that represents all of the 20 billion (!) or so devices around the world that are connected via wireless technology so they may interact with other devices. Cell phones, desktop/laptop computers, tablets, your Fitbit, the Dash buttons from Amazon, your Nest Thermostat, et al are all examples of the IoT. But why is it a big deal? Well, it’s not so much about right now, but the future. IoT is the result of taking connected devices and designing pathways for them to communicate with one another. Imagine a wearable device (like a Fitbit) that monitors specific health factors prescribed by your doctor (HR, BP, steps, calorie burn, calorie intake, blood glucose, etc.) and automatically notifies your healthcare provider or Emergency Medical Services (EMS) if certain changes in your base readings raise any red flags. THEN, imagine that EMS can automatically obtain your electronic health record and prevent an accidental adverse reaction to medications while they care for you. THEN, imagine the ambulance itself communicates with the municipal traffic control system along with GPS guidance, avoiding unnecessary traffic delays. You receive the highest quality care at lower cost and higher efficiency because all of the devices we used before are now optimized through the IoT. Game changer!

On June 8th, Mass TLC hosted a series of panel discussions about the past, present and future of IoT, and I was fortunate enough to sit on the panel alongside Sean Lorenz (CEO of Senter) and Denise Fletcher (former CIO of Xerox Healthcare Payer Services) addressing the application of this concept in the field of healthcare. The panel was moderated by Pete Karns, VP of Offering Management for IBM Watson IoT. My role was to represent the manufacturing perspective, which has two angles: 1) IoT benefits manufacturing in a general sense, as it optimizes efficiency internally and externally; and 2) Cogmedix is a contract manufacturing and logistics services provider for medical OEMs, which (especially in Massachusetts) are pioneering the advancement of smart medical devices. Stay tuned for more on the IoT relating to manufacturing in an upcoming blog!

Cogmedix continues to serve the cutting-edge medical technology industry through various means. By maintaining great relationships with organizations like Mass TLC, we are able to facilitate partnerships that will continue to aid the evolution of the Internet of Things. This evolution is critical as more innovators seek to apply this concept to benefit the medical field. Cogmedix will certainly be a part of that application as the medical devices we build are more frequently connected to the IoT. It was a great thrill for me to sit on this panel and I look forward to our continued collaboration with other area tech leaders in the future.