It’s without question that medical devices are becoming more and more advanced. These technological increases only continue to provide data, and lots of it! Recently an article which asks, “Is The Medical Device Industry Ready for Big Data”- caught our attention and we’d like to know your thoughts, are medical device companies ready for what could be ahead?
These advancements and strategies for our industry seem to be falling into five main categories. As directly stated in the article on MedCity News, these areas include:
- New Revenue Streams: The business models enabling companies to ’monetize’ their data might include charging hospitals or payers for access to and/or management of the data, or providing services such as post-discharge patient monitoring.
- Product Improvements: Companies could use data streaming off their devices to guide product enhancements and next gen platforms that deliver better performance, and therefore are more competitive in the marketplace.
- Outcomes Benefits: Processed data from a medical device might direct physicians, patients or caregivers to take steps that, in turn, increase the ’efficacy’ of the underlying device.
- Liability Protection: Careful review of data from medical devices for purposes of post-market vigilance can detect device problems quickly before too many devices get out there, limiting the magnitude of any unfortunate recall situation.
- Operational Efficiency: Medical devices of the future will be able to tell you where they are, or are not, which can greatly streamline inventory management, sales targeting, and compliance with device traceability requirements.
The 1996 Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is something that cannot be ignored either and it is briefly mentioned in the article. In fact, the article suggests that companies may hold back in fear they may violate HIPPA rules. But, as with any new frontier the boarders are still being developed and the path still being settled.
The article goes on to discuss how companies and healthcare providers may benefit from the “big data” era, but what about patients? Not too long ago we wrote a blog on whether patients should have full access to the data their device yields. Just like anything else, there are pros and cons that need to be weighed.
What are your thoughts on the industry and “big data”? Do you think we need more regulations to safeguard patients before companies should have access to data? How do you see this move as an overall benefit? Let us know what you think and comment below.
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