Medtech and the Internet of Things

Clarius and the Internet of Things

Kris Dickie, Director of Innovation at Clarius reflects on our technical journey.

As we finalize our product development and prepare to launch our Clarius Wireless Ultrasound System this year, I have been contemplating how we actually got to this point from a technological standpoint – and more generally, how the Internet of Things (IoT) is changing healthcare. Our vision at Clarius has been to get ultrasound into the hands of more physicians through the use of sophisticated technology. Our experience in the ultrasound business made it clear we had to make ultrasound easier to use and more affordable. And our experience as engineers told us to take advantage of the technology many of us use every day: to enable users to run an App on their smart devices to easily image with an ultrasound system that fits in their hand.

When we take a step back and look at what we’ve created, we are starting to think of ourselves more as an IoT company, instead of purely a medical devices company. Even in the historically slower-paced world of medical device development, which includes products for both physicians and patients alike, innovative developers can’t avoid incorporating the latest connectivity and cloud-based technologies that are rapidly reshaping healthcare. Cloud connectivity is changing the industry, nudging it to become more agile and forcing it to take a step back and rethink how we implement things like security protocols, which are crucial for device safety and for protecting patient information. It seems we hear stories every week of how manufacturers are failing to meet the needs of their users by implementing little or no security at all. These stories inspire us to be even more careful about our security protocols.

Since Clarius uses both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi technologies on its device, we’ve spent significant resources researching and implementing the best security practices. As IoT technologies get smarter and more sophisticated, we continually assess what fits well with what we’re trying to achieve and brainstorm how we can give users a better experience while using ultrasound.

Without giving too much away too soon, I am excited about delighting our customers by transforming their interaction with a medical device that has been historically complex to operate – we have focused on simplicity and image quality and clinicians who have seen it during our testing phase, tell us we have hit our target. As we continue down our path of transforming the use of ultrasound at the point of care, we will showcase new technologies for both real-time imaging and offline data management. It’s an exciting time for our company and the industry as a whole.

You can hear Kris speak more about this topic during his presentation titled “Replacing the Stethoscope with Ultrasound” at the Qt World Summit held in San Francisco, October 18-20, 2016.

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