Moving Toward Value-Based Healthcare Using Wearables and Patient-Generated Data

January 6, 2017

Christine Young By: Christine Young
Blogger, Maxim Integrated 


For Google’s Heidi Dohse, this is a transformational time in healthcare where technologies like wearables and big data can move us from a fee-for-service to a value-based model of care. That’s particularly good news for Dohse because she has been on a 30-year journey with heart disease and relies on what she calls the “ultimate wearable”—her pacemaker—to live her life.

With built-in WiFi, Dohse’s pacemaker tracks each heartbeat, checks for abnormal rhythms, and monitors its own voltage settings and battery life. Also important, the device lets her know whether her heartbeat is in a safe range when she’s racing her bike. And providing added reassurance, the pacemaker can transmit all of the data it collects directly to her doctor. The information is, Dohse says, “what allows individuals like me to get our lives back.”

Dohse discussed her transition from high-school athlete to heart patient to (now) competitive bike racer during a talk in November at IDTechEx Show! at the Santa Clara Convention Center. Read the full report of “The Internet of Me: Data Empowering Patients” on Embedded Computing Design.

A smartwatch is an example of the many health/fitness wearables now available to help people—and their doctors—manage their care.

Billions at Stake in Healthcare IoT Market

Wearable healthcare devices represent a big market opportunity: MarketResearch.com anticipates that by 2020, healthcare internet of things (IoT) will represent a $117 billion market. Despite the pressures to get to market first, designing these products comes with huge challenges. In a very small, unobtrusive form factor and operating at low power, wearable healthcare devices must be able to reliably—and securely—collect and process a wide range of physiological data.

Maxim provides a platform that can shorten the wearable healthcare product development cycle by up to six months. The hSensor Platform is a reference design, as well as a development and evaluation platform, that helps designers quickly develop a prototype to test out their design ideas. The platform includes a temperature sensor, an electrocardiogram (ECG) analog front end (AFE), a pulse oximeter and heart-rate sensor, and an integrated power management IC. It supports a variety of applications, including disposable temperature patches, smart weigh scales, and bio-authentication devices. Read Andrew Baker’s blog post about the hSensor Platform to learn more about how you can use it.