In the world of healthcare, the potential of data is undisputed. With the deployment of the IoMT, medical devices can now collect data and make self adjustments without any human intervention, send information to a platform that can then alert a third party, or loop back. This is what your smart watch does when it reminds you to go for a walk. In this data-driven environment, IoT-enabled devices, including medical devices, will generate an expected 73.1 trillion gigabytes of data by 2025 according to research firm IDC.
How then to ensure that data is accurate, consistent and available on time?


What are smart and intelligent medical devices?

If you add a sensor to a traditional medical device such as a surgical instrument, it becomes a smart instrument. And that is when the magic happens. Not only can the manufacturing company geolocate its assets in its own facilities, it can also track down assets within the hospital, thus helping them and other industry players to identify how medical equipment is used and moved during a procedure, which piece of medical equipment is frequently utilized and might need replacement, etc. These applications contribute, among other things, to improve inventory management and infection prevention.
Welcome to the world of smart and intelligent medical devices.


What can affect data quality?

And the story could end here, deriving actionable insights from analyzing data to make better and more informed decisions.

With an ever expanding volume of data collected, exchanged and stored every day, ensuring data quality cannot be overstated. It is not merely essential, it is instrumental to the healthcare industry. Now, this is clearly easier said than done.

We have identified 3 ways data quality can be affected :

  • When collecting data : If the sensor placed on the device is not reliable or properly calibrated, the data collected will lack accuracy. An immediate consequence could be an inappropriate manufacturing decision to replace the device. This is a lesser evil.  A dysfunctional geolocation system providing inaccurate location data will have more severe consequences. How to guarantee that your medical device was not used during a procedure next door, thus running the risk of surgical infection?
  • An overwhelming amount of data pouring from an ever growing number of connected devices, anywhere and anytime, can impair data analysis. This phenomenon also known as data deluge seriously reduces the capacity of institutions to manage data and make use of it.
  • Last but not least, when storing data, data breach risks and cyberattacks are issues to be handled seriously in order to maintain high data quality.

Fortunately, solutions exist. It all starts with good business partners and service providers. Choosing the most reliable system is of paramount importance to ensure that the data is collected, aggregated, stored, and analyzed properly. In our data-driven world, it is also becoming an undeniable competitive advantage.