Data’s Role in Outcome-Driven, IoT-Enabled Healthcare Economy

Written By: Brant Henne
  • 9/20/2018

ThU.S. healthcare economy is in a state of flux, with amassive transformation towards evaluating and monetizingservices based on patient outcomes.

The motivation forthis change is clear: as a nation, we aren’t getting much of a return on investment. According to the Peterson Foundation, the average,annual per capita healthcare cost across developed countries is over $3,800, while the cost in the United States has ballooned to over $9,500. Conversely, U.S. healthcare outcomes are ranked mostly below average.

And a major cause for this disparity is a relative lack of focus on preventative, outcome-based careThe good news is that the U.S. medical community is aware and moving in the direction of outcome-based healthcareAs this model is adopted, it will increasingly result inproviders competing to deliver the best outcomesIndividual doctors, hospitals, and providers will profit according to how well their patients fare. At the macro level, value-drivenserviceswill require analyzing healthcare trends and patterns to discover and standardize outcome improvements across the population.

New healthcare requires new healthcare technology

Particularly for makers of diagnostic devices and equipment, there is increasing pressure to improve end-to-end data acquisition and applicationDiagnostic data collectionmust become more sensitive, accurate, longitudinal, and comprehensive. Collected data must be made available to increasingly powerful analytics and deep learning resources, but it must also be safeguarded—including operational data, patient biometrics, and personally identifying informationData will require anonymization while being authenticated through security models like blockchain. Anddata will need to be responsibly shared across an ecosystem of healthcare networks.

This orchestration of data enables performance outcome to be measured, modified, and measured again—creating a closed loop improvement process. It will also identify and new ways for complementary care to be administered. It will also, of course, enable more accurate diagnosis and direct improvements to care.

Medical device manufacturers are anticipating change

According to a recent survey conducted by life-sciences research firm Axendia, medical device manufacturers are anticipating this transformation towardsdata-driven technologies and economies. When asked how the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) would change their business over the next 5 years, 83% responded that it would require participation in more interconnected healthcare networks.

Data creates opportunity—and risk 

In the same survey, Axendia asked device makers to identify the greatest challenges in bringing smart, connected products to market. The two top answers were:data interoperability with networks and systems of record, and the securing of devices and data.Interoperability across a diverse network ensures data can be fully leveraged to improve performance.Meanwhile, data security also remainsrequirement to protect patient information, safeguard intellectual property, and reduce legal exposure.

Data can benefit device makers, too

While the grand design is to improvpatient outcomes, there are some more direct benefits that can be had from embracing a data-driven approach. In other manufacturing sectors, product usage data havelong been playing a key role in several areas, including:

  • Real-time performance visibility

  • Predictive and preventative maintenance

  • Remote and improved service

  • Total Product lifecycle improvements


These data-driven initiatives are getting results. According to Axendia, 80% of respondents using IoT connected devices report that they see reducing the cost of poor quality as a key benefit. 

Device makers are also embracing an outcome model 

Traditionally, the manufacturer bears the expense of researching, designing, manufacturing, and delivering high-value medical device—until the capital equipment costs are assumed at the time of purchase.But the transformation to outcome-based healthcare will require a new type of transactionManufacturers will need to retain ownership of their equipment, and embrace a model that is either fee-for-use or subscription based. While this may seem like daunting move for some device makers, there are some important upsides, including:

  • Better interoperability of data and mitigation of data risks.

  • Continual refinement of product output (and value).

  • Manufacturers taking a more valuable, solution-based role.

Much like their patients, healthcare providers are favoring vendors that can deliver continuously improving product outputs and servicesThis will result in a greater collaboration that will further improve outcomes.

Get the full picture on medical device and IoMT trends 

Axendia research conducted a thorough study of manufacturers and users of high tech medical devices. Compiling their findings into an easily digestible e-book, the data is a must read for device makers and healthcare IT professionals looking to negotiate a transition to a usage/outcome-based model and correctly leverage the potential of the IoMT.


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About the Author

Brant Henne

As a Content Strategy Manager, I thrive on engaging technology stories. There's no shortage of these stories at PTC; we're helping entire industries use the IoT and AR to transform their business.

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