One exciting and innovative application for the Internet of Things (IoT) is connected medical devices. The waistband that can monitor your daily movement, the watch that comes with a fetal monitoring system, and a wearable bump to inject diabetes medicine automatically, are all changing the way we interact with our bodies and with health care providers.
Many IoT-based innovations and advancements in the health care industry are saving and changing millions of lives around the globe. By 2020, the wireless portable medical device market is expected to grow to $17.71 billion . For the electronic component market, the advancement of wireless portable medical devices, leads to a potential growth in business opportunities.
Installed with smart sensors, which is a combination of a sensor and a microcontroller, these portable medical devices are able to measure, monitor, and analyze various health status indicators . To ensure the smart sensors work properly for medical devices, low power components are more desirable than high power consumption components. Chipmakers like Freescale are working on designing such components for medical devices .
Medical device designers are starting to focus on multi-functional ICs. The compact size of wearable medical devices restricts the size of ICs, thus the demand for multifunctional IC components is going to surge as the market grows.
However, there are also many serious challenges for portable wearables. One of them being security. The connection to the Internet will expose data collected by medical device to a potential breach threat. This issue becomes serious within the medical device industry since they are collecting personal health data that could harm the patient if the data was breached.
In an alert issued by Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), they stated that:
“Criminals can also gain access to unprotected devices used in home health care, such as those used to collect and transmit personal monitoring data or time-dispense medicines. Once criminals have breached such devices, they have access to any personal or medical information stored on the devices and can possibly change the coding controlling the dispensing of medicines or health data collection. These devices may be at risk if they are capable of long-range connectivity.”
Moreover, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, issued a guidance for Radio Frequency Wireless Technology in Medical Devices. This requires that:
“Under the quality system regulation, procedures and controls must be established for wireless medical devices and their components, including components that are purchased and included as part of the device or device system, to ensure that the device and its components conform to specified design requirements related to the RF wireless considerations noted above.”
“The security measures should be well coordinated among the medical device components, accessories, and system, and as needed, with a host wireless network.”
As electronic component suppliers for medical devices, Advanced MP Technology takes the quality of components seriously. We have a 72-point inspection process in place to ensure that we supply only quality components to our customers. Our industry certified inspection partners can also provide additional testing per customer request to ensure the quality of the component.