Today, Infosys, RTI, PTC, and Massachusetts General Hospital’s MD PnP Lab launched the Industrial Internet Consortium’s (IIC) entry into smart healthcare.
Healthcare is an industry in transition. The current, poorly connected state of healthcare systems limits progress in this field and is an obstacle in the goal of providing better medical treatment at lower costs. The need for better systems is urgent. Today, hospital errors contribute to hundreds of thousands of deaths in the US every year. And with at least 80% of older adults suffering from one or more chronic health issues, there is an enormous opportunity to improve healthcare and prevent unnecessary loss of life.
The rise of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) promises a better future. With the IIoT, we can create intelligent distributed systems of devices that check patient status, better inform doctors of status, and prevent errors. New healthcare systems can provide remote monitoring and care both in the home and small clinics. This revolution will lower cost, improve patient outcomes, enable much better care in hospitals and homes, and improve long-term care.
The new Connected Care Testbed applies the IIC’s leading reference architecture to demonstrate and prove connected care systems for hospitals, homes, and clinics. The goal is to develop an open IIoT architecture for clinical and remote medical devices. It will integrate patient monitoring data with data management and analytics. The testbed leverages the OpenICE medical device framework to ensure secure interoperability between medical devices and applications. RTI Connext DDS, already used by the MD PnP Lab, will be the data distribution middleware for the testbed.
Testbed use case: A doctor receives a text message warning about one of her patients, and logs into her user account on the Connected Care system. On the summary dashboard, the system has highlighted one of her patients that may need follow up. Clicking on the patient’s name, the doctor accesses the patient’s health history and sees a highlighted alert that the patient has been taking medication incorrectly (as recorded by a sensor in the patient’s home ). The doctor then views details of the patient’s medication use and is able to determine the problem. With another click, the doctor is able to forward the alert to her staff for follow up with a note to discuss proper use of medication with the patient.
As the lead on the testbed, Infosys will be doing much of the system development and integration. Infosys has identified a family willing to participate in the first phase for home monitoring. The plan is to use home monitoring devices like a FitBit Activity Monitor, a smart scale, a Withings blood pressure monitor, a GreatCall fall detection system, and an Ivy Vital-Guard 450C patient monitor. The goal is then to find a hospital or clinic partner and use the MD PnP Lab at Massachusetts General Hospital for initial data collection for clinical monitoring. Data gathering at the MD PnP Lab already uses RTI Connext DDS in its implementation of the OpenICE framework, while RTI and the MD PnP Lab continue to develop the OpenICE framework.
As a coordinating activity, RTI collaborates with the MD PnP lab on securing data in an OpenICE system. Security is critical for many reasons. First, laws such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) mandate patient privacy. Also, security attacks can have serious safety consequences for patients. In a phase 1 SBIR project for the Defense Health Program, RTI modeled security requirements for a set of key care environments and worked out security risks for ICE deployments in each setting. RTI then demonstrated how and to what extent the risks would be mitigated by using an ICE Controller that complies with the recently adopted DDS security specification. Collaborating with the MD PnP lab, we developed a proof-of-concept prototype. We recently used this proof-of-concept as an example in our tech lab at the RSA Conference, and we plan to use the lessons learned in this research in the Connected Care testbed too.