Leveraging Mobile Sensing to Drive Healthcare Efficiency

By Sophie Curtis on June 24, 2015

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Smart transport is emerging as a massive opportunity for Internet of Things (IoT) applications. Sensors are being applied in large numbers to vehicles, roadways and overall transport infrastructure, creating a hyper-connected system for better environmental efficiency, especially in urban areas.

Jarie Bolander is Chief Operating Officer of Lab Sensor Solutions, a company that provides full stack, real time, mobile Sensor as a Service (mSaaS), sample location and temperature tracking solutions for clinical laboratories. Lab Sensor Solutions are using the latest advances in IoT technologies to maintain the precise temperature required for transporting clinical samples to ensure their viability, as well as creating real time courier data to communicate transit problems. These predictive warnings allow staff to preempt any potential issues before the sample deteriorates.

At RE.WORK Connect Summit in San Francisco, Jarie will be presenting Real Time Predictive Monitoring and Modeling of Clinical Samples in Transit to Ensure Sample Viability. We caught up with him to hear more about Lab Sensor Solutions and his thoughts on the future of IoT.

How have recent IoT developments aided in the progress of Lab Sensor Solutions?
The biggest IoT development for Lab Sensor Solutions (LSS) was the development of Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). All of the other IoT wireless technologies require expensive infrastructure, while BLE is on every mobile device. This is a game changer for not only LSS but also other companies that want to leverage mobile sensing.

Mobile devices are the largest segment of computing with well over 7.2B mobile devices worldwide. That means there are more mobile devices than humans. With such a vast number of mobile devices, it’s natural to use this technology to drive IoT adoption. We feel strongly that mobile computing will allow for rapid adoption of IoT technology.

What industries do you think will be disrupted by IoT in the future? And how?
Healthcare will see a big disruption by IoT and that’s why we are focusing on it. IoT allows our healthcare system to automate a lot of the manual processes that cause errors. These errors contribute to over 400,000 people each year that die from preventable medical errors in the US.

The cost and quality of healthcare in the US is one of our most challenging things to fix. It’s vital that the IoT community continues to drive adoption and help the healthcare industry achieve better outputs for us all. Adoption of IoT will not only save lives, it will decrease costs for delivering even better service.

Another industry that we see being disrupted by IoT is the food industry. Keeping food fresh and safe for consumption will prevent spoilage and food borne diseases. IoT allows for seamless monitoring, in real-time, of critical parameters such as temperature, location, humidity and chemical composition. This monitoring will also allow the rapid determination of source contamination so that it can be corrected.

How can the technology and ethos behind Lab Sensor Solutions be applied in other areas?
LSS is building a mobile Sensor as a Service (mSaaS) platform that can be applied to any vertical market that cares about sensing parameters. We take a full system approach to understand the business problems our customers are struggling with. We strive to make our mSaaS platform simple and reliable so that customers can focus on improving their businesses without having the huge burden of learning all about the in’s and out’s of IoT.

We continuously strive to gain a deep and broad understanding of the challenges our customers face. We want to always keep the customers needs in mind but also project forward to see what challenges they will face in the future. This methodology has proven extremely successful for us.

What do you see in the future for Lab Sensor Solutions?
LSS is the leader in the clinical laboratory temperature and location tracking market. We have the only full stack, real-time solution that makes it simple for customers to improve their sample handling process. We see LSS moving over to adjacent vertical markets within the healthcare industry, such as pharmaceuticals and vaccines. After that, we can see expanding into something else such as food safety.

Which areas do you feel could benefit from cross-industry collaboration in IoT?
Open standards can add a lot of value to the IoT ecosystem. Technology adoption is always faster when the basic infrastructure is easily accessible to the whole community. Technologies such as USB and Bluetooth have been stellar in providing such ubiquitous access to technology. Other technology efforts, such as RFID (radio-frequency identification), have not really taken off because the basic underlying infrastructure is not ubiquitous and is too costly.

Another benefit from cross-industry collaboration is that most industries face similar problems. For example, the healthcare industry is trying to improve quality. They are starting to adopt lean Six-Sigma processes that the manufacturing industry has been doing for decades. This sharing of best practices makes every industry improve. We see that happening in IoT as well.

What new developments can we expect to see in IoT in the next 5 years?
Over the next 5 years, we see the use of IoT becoming mainstream. We also see a period where IoT will go through a transformative phase wherein hardware and software standards will solidify into something that will make it simple and easy for companies to build fantastic IoT ecosystems. Without such standards, IoT adoption will slow or even stall.

We anticipate that there will be lots and lots of IoT ecosystems deployed that will improve all sorts of industries with manufacturing, consumer (retail and food safety) and healthcare being the most widely adopted. The next 5 years will be an exciting time to be building IoT systems.

RE.WORK Connect Summit is taking place in San Francisco on 12-13 November. Super Early Bird tickets expire on 26 June - for more information and to register, please visit the event website here.

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