Internet-of-Things (IoT) Connects Instruments to Improve Clinical Outcomes

Pearsall, C Robert

Traditionally, medical instruments have been data islands. The Internet of Things (IoT) paradigm for cooperative machine communication and computing offers promise for providing "glue" between computation resources to meet critical point-of-care and personalized medicine requirements. Building on HL7 metadata describing medical devices, additional properties, such as metrology, can be defined and abstracted to permit alerts at point-of-care and medical case reviews. Potential value derived from this approach is illustrated in a use case in esophageal manometry. Manometry requires placement of the manometer in the esophagus using fluoroscopic guidance. A clinical case illustrates that misplacement of the manometer may be missed visually, but can be detected through dimensional integration between the image and the patient records. An IoT approach is offered as a valuable source of information for clinical alerts and medical review. Best practices could then be added through cooperation among medical professional societies, improving care by building upon what equipment manufacturers can provide. Although the concept is not entirely novel, the exciting thing is that the combination of abstraction, communication, and computing make this realistically feasible in modern practice. Better cognitive load management can improve both human care (high touch) and care quality metrics (high tech) seamlessly within existing practice.