Predictive maintenance is defining the future of the medical device industry

Digital transformation of a diagnostic lab enables one to allow efficient management of the inventory and better anticipate maintenance needs of the instruments.

Think about it! In any business, what is the role of technology and how does it help? In simple words, it is one of the problem-solving tools that helps resolve a business problem faster and effectively. With an increasing focus on offering value-added services, manufacturers are adopting rapidly evolving technologies such as IoT or Internet of Things, to meet the huge demand for fully automated products and services.

IoT applications are being used across all verticals of business and healthcare is no exception. In fact, IoT has brought in a lot of ‘convenience’ to the healthcare ecosystem. A research has projected that by 2019, 87% global healthcare organizations will have adopted IoT technology. Speaking specifically of the medical devices segment, IoT has brought about digital transformation to a lab workflow. In fact large equipment manufacturers are moving to develop cloud-based initiatives in order to grab their share. 

But is IoT only about the latest technology? Or is it about creating value? So, this brings us to the next important question; how does IoT help a medical device company add more value to a diagnostic lab which in turn benefits the patients?

Diagnostics is the first step in the healthcare delivery chain and 70% of the treatment decisions are based on lab results. The market for diagnostics devices is growing steadily to meet the increasing demand from hospitals and laboratories. The onus is thus on the manufacturer to provide a holistic solution that integrates automation with analytics, training, updates and troubleshooting.

Medical device providers across the world have brought in IoT to their rescue. While it offers a host of solutions, it is left to the companies to leverage the potential of IoT to the fullest.

Predictive maintenance

For laboratories, one of the biggest concerns is downtime. Planning for upgrading via cloud-based lab management systems and sophisticated software is a good way to future proof products and reduce the cost of maintaining the instrument. The days of preventive maintenance are long forgotten, now is the time for predictive maintenance. Devices with IoT capability can sense when components are exhibiting faults or when they near their expected end of life and communicate this back to technical support and initiate actions to resolve them – from ordering replacement parts to requesting a completely new device. 

Inventory management

Remote monitoring is also used to evaluate the usage and consumption of reagents for each test and their expiry to allow efficient management of lab inventory and utilization. Further, by analyzing actual usage data, a company can provide better customer service by pre-scheduling the delivery of consumables. This is particularly relevant for a diagnostic laboratory that is faced with a major challenge of optimizing capacities of capital equipments. 

24x7 remote access

While nothing can replace personalized customer service, IoT is playing the role of an adjunct to ‘smarter’ personalized customer service. In the traditional approach, a device manufacturer provides an after-sales service to solve a problem with the instrument in case of a breakdown. This could result in repeated visits by the sales team to first diagnose the problem and then fix it. However with IoT, the service team can receive real-time reports. Technicians can thus remotely access the instrument and get information on the performance and repair history and other details that can help them save time. This will further help the organization to improve their TAT and customer satisfaction.

Optimizing patient outcomes

Manufacturers can utilize IoT data for compliance monitoring and to evaluate the performance of an instrument and optimize test results real time, with QC rules and calibration trends. This can be integral to making the device more useful to the end-user.

Transasia gives its customers the convenience of connected devices

Transasia Bio-Medical’s cloud based system
Transasia’s cloud-based system, Transconnect has helped equip labs with cutting-edge technology to improve patient treatment outcomes and enable better analytic insights. Its sophisticated software provides the team with real-time updates, prompting timely intervention to avoid a breakdown. In addition, a round the clock application support guarantees a seamless lab workflow. IoT sensors integrated in the instruments, provides extensive information on the consumption of reagents and the thus enhances the efficiency of the lab.

Though in its nascent stage, the IVD Industry is living the IoT revolution and effectively enhancing patient care. 

Authored by:

Mr. Amit Sehgal, 
President- Sales, Marketing & Services,