Digital transformation—and exploiting the power of the Internet of Things (IoT)—offers a way to help drive new sales and secure existing customer relationships for companies in the medical device industry. And as I’ve noted previously, delivering a positive customer experience is key.

In this post, I’ll talk about several examples trending today.

Competitive differentiation through better user experience with IoT

The concept of IoT offers convenience and peace of mind through smart devices connected to sophisticated software, and even artificial intelligence. Medical device makers can take advantage of these technologies to re-imagine the experience for the entire ecosystem of healthcare: doctors, clinicians, and laboratory personnel—and yes, most importantly, the patients.

Consider these examples:

  • The SwipeSense hand-sanitizing system seeks to automate hospitals’ efforts to achieve 100% compliance with best practices in hand hygiene. Doctors clip the devices to scrubs for ongoing access to hand sanitizer. Wireless monitoring systems keep track of frequency of use and generate reports to users and administrators, encouraging more frequent hand washing. That helps combat hospital-acquired infections that sicken two million Americans each year, resulting in 100,000 deaths and over $30 billion in costs to the healthcare system.
  • The Metadistretti e-monitor is a tool for treating cardiovascular disease, a condition that afflicts nearly 17.5 million people a year and is the leading cause of death worldwide. The device relies on a “smart” patch that sits on the patient’s chest and uses sensors to gather ECG, blood pressure, and blood oxygen data, which is then transmitted via Bluetooth and smartphone to doctors and family members. Patients can leave the hospital sooner, and recover comfortably at home, with the reassurance that they’re being properly monitored by experts.
  • 297_12176_TS469002238_TThe iHealth Wireless Smart Gluco-Monitoring System is a glucose meter that works wirelessly with a smartphone app. Patients (or their parents) can easily view glucose trends over time, set test and medication reminders, track test-strip quantity and expiration dates, and share data with a healthcare provider. For the 25 million Americans who have type 1 diabetes, such a tool can bring peace of mind by preventing blood glucose levels from falling dangerously low.

Better products through digital feedback

Moreover, medical device makers can collect information about how their products sell, track user habits, and anticipate and shape behaviors. Not long ago, a manufacturer would likely have little reliable data about what happens to a product after it leaves its warehouse. Now it can track how long the product sits on the shelf in a hospital or drug store. It can learn how patients use and store the product, and for how long. And it can understand how soon the product typically gets misplaced or replaced.

Real usage data brings rigor and detail to the human-based feedback loop to reveal what features are actually critical to end-users (vs. which ones they say are critical) and, even better, inform the development of next-generation products.

Cognizant works with medical device industry leaders to open the way to greater competitiveness in a connected world with IoT solutions. We can help you design and develop a network of smart, connected medical devices that solve business challenges and can monetize data, opening avenues to differentiated customer experiences.

What smart technologies have you seen in action improve the patient experience? Let me know.