The Internet of Medical Things Challenges

The Internet of Medical Things Challenges

Each day, more and more things get connected, creating an event bigger and bigger smart world creating more and more data that makes us more and more vulnerable to cyberattacks and intrusions.

Apple has unveiled the Watch Series 4 at its annual event at the Apple Park in San Francisco. The new Apple watch - cleared by the Food and Drug Administration of the USA - will allow users to take an Electrocardiogram or ECG. Apple's Jeff Williams said that the the Watch can detect irregular heartbeat, low heart rate.

What's more, men, materials and machines are colliding with AI, analytics, cloud computing, fog computing, blockchain and mobile technologies increasing the levels of complexity as the cyber nervous system evolves.

The IoT World Forum Reference Model describes the layers in IoT system.

There are four primary areas of IoT impact:

  1. Enhanced business insights
  2. Operational efficiencies
  3. New revenue streams
  4. Improved processes

The consequence is that the internet of medical things (IoMT) creates big challenges and opportunities to cut costs, improve outcomes and the doctor and patient experience. Here are some themes emerging:

1. Collisions of men, machines and materials impacting business models.

2. Workforce development challenges to deliver a diverse IoMT competent talent pipeline.

3. Cybersecurity challenges.

4. AI and machine learning integration.

5. Creating and protecting the appropriate networking infrastructure.

6. Using the IoMT to solve immediate problems v informing future products and service development.

7. The battle for 5G deployment.

8. International business competitive issues.

9. The migration of product companies into XaaS companies.

10. The changing role of CIOs and CSIOs.

11. Navigating the data development roadmap.

12. Using the IoMT to transform sick care to healthcare by moving from reporting to prescribing to predicting to preventing.

13. Deciding which data need to go to the cloud or can remain closer to the ground, in the fog.

14. How to make poor data into usable data so you don't get GIGO.

15. How to change dumb assets in to smart assets by converting data to value.

16. How to dismantle data silos and minimize adverse outcomes to other stakeholders.

17. What happens when the patient owns the data?

18. How do we create a standard interoperable platform for the IoMT?

19. How to remove the barriers to dissemination and implementation of the IoMT?

20. When does remote sensing move from being constructive to being creepy?

21. How leaders can move from fashionistas (buying the latest shiny new object and then moving on) to champions (thoughtful deployment and scaling)?

22. How to use the IoMT as part of the complex process of changing doctor and patient behavior?

23. Navigating from thinking big to starting small to scaling fast with a minimal cost of failure.

24. Learning from industries outside of sick care, since sick care can't be fixed from inside.

25. Changing the reimbursement, intellectual property and regulatory environment of the IoMT. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is working to strengthen the cybersecurity of medical devices in the wake of computer-hacking threats.

More than half of all workplace tasks will be carried out by machines by 2025, organizers of the Davos economic forum said in a report that highlights the speed with which the labor market will change in coming years.

The World Economic Forum estimates that machines will be responsible for 52 percent of the division of labor as share of hours within seven years, up from just 29 percent today. By 2022, the report says, roughly 75 million jobs worldwide will be lost, but that could be more than offset by the creation of 133 million new jobs.

A major challenge, however, will be training and re-training employees for that new world of work.

All of this may seem a bit overwhelming because it is. However, those who are fighting the 4th industrial revolution to win won't wait for you to catch your breath. They are too busy measuring it via an e-meter dose inhaler, capturing your data, and adjusting your insurance rates based on the probability of how your asthma is responding to the last bronchodilator you just puffed.

Arlen Meyers, MD, MBA is the President and CEO of the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs.

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  • Jamie Griffiths

    IoMT is poised to transform how we keep people safe and healthy.

  • Miles Stanley

    On a positive news, the Internet of Medical Things provide healthcare providers with actual data to identify issues before they become critical or to allow for earlier invention.

  • Sam Penhall

    The IoMT might be the silver bullet for our communities

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Arlen Meyers, MD, MBA

Former Contributor

Arlen Meyers, MD, MBA is a professor emeritus of otolaryngology, dentistry, and engineering at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and the Colorado School of Public Health and President and CEO of the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs at He has created several medical device and digital health companies. His primary research centers around biomedical and health innovation and entrepreneurship and life science technology commercialization. He consults for and speaks to companies, governments, colleges and universities around the world who need his expertise and contacts in the areas of bio entrepreneurship, bioscience, healthcare, healthcare IT, medical tourism -- nationally and internationally, new product development, product design, and financing new ventures. He is a former Harvard-Macy fellow and In 2010, he completed a Fulbright at Kings Business, the commercialization office of technology transfer at Kings College in London. He recently published "Building the Case for Biotechnology." "Optical Detection of Cancer", and " The Life Science Innovation Roadmap". He is also an associate editor of the Journal of Commercial Biotechnology and Technology Transfer and Entrepreneurship and Editor-in-Chief of Medscape. In addition, He is a faculty member at the University of Colorado Denver Graduate School where he teaches Biomedical Entrepreneurship and is an iCorps participant, trainer and industry mentor. He is the Chief Medical Officer at and and Chairman of the Board at GlobalMindED at, a non-profit at risk student success network. He is honored to be named by Modern Healthcare as one of the 50 Most Influential Physician Executives of 2011 and nominated in 2012 and Best Doctors 2013.

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