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The New Patient Experience: Internet Connectivity Creating Healthcare Anywhere

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Last week, healthcare and technology innovators from around the United States came together to experience the future of healthcare at the Mill City Innovation & Collaboration Center (ICC), a new space created to showcase technologies, evaluate usability in simulated environments  and conduct community and practice-based research. The “Healthcare Anywhere” event focused on how healthcare providers can use information technologies, mobile applications and the Internet of Things to generate patient data for real-time monitoring creating a completely new patient experience and transforming the way patients and their healthcare providers interact. Real world, commercial-ready applications included a wearable, Internet of Things demonstration by AFrame Digital and Digi International.

AFrame and Digi came together to demo of AFrame’s MobileCare™ Monitor system, a wrist watch-like device that wirelessly communicates a user’s motion and location data to a cloud-based monitoring and alert system. The system’s capabilities include emergency call, impact detection, location tracking, along with activity and vitals tracking and trending. The solution uses ZigBee wireless technology, provided by Digi International, to connect to the network, and Device Cloud by Etherios to give providers an easy to use management portal.Health Monitoring on Tablet

The demonstration was installed in a simulated home environment to show attendees that data collection is a non-intrusive process.  AFrame Digital and Digi also demonstrated a patient app, intelligent mobile alerts and cloud-based care management tools that help seniors and patients stay safe at home, provide real-time feedback about a person’s health or well-being or give early warning when a person’s health begins to deteriorate.

“The Internet of Things paradigm is really about personalizing experiences,” said AFrame Digital’s Jill Thorpe, vice president for strategic initiatives. “Patient-generated data will influence healthcare the same way web navigation patterns and search criteria personalize consumer experiences on websites. We help healthcare providers leverage patient-generated data to personalize patient-directed content and enhance patient communication with their health care providers. Over time, combining sensor devices and patient-generated with powerful analytics and machine learning will help care providers get ahead of health problems before they become acute, enable more scalable care delivery models, and ultimately lead to better care and outcomes.”

“We believe that technology will reduce unnecessary face-to-face clinic visits, allowing physicians to see more patients and engage with their patients in new ways,” said Richard Tanler, Director of Mill City ICC. “Solutions offered by AFrame and Digi International are part of our hyper-connected world, that now includes apps for  managing our health and the health of loved ones.”

Panel Discussion

“Digi International’s products and services are used by our healthcare customers and OEMs to connect millions of devices in thousands of hospitals. The products and cloud services are being used to bridge the critical gap between healthcare information systems and a broad range of devices,” said Steve Popovich, vice president of global accounts, healthcare at Digi International. “We see new opportunities as healthcare devices become more mobile within traditional patient care facilities, for long term chronic illness monitoring and aging in place applications.”

In addition to live demos, the ICC hosted a roundtable dedicated to the topic. Panelists included representatives from Intel, Oracle, The Boston Consulting Group, and UnitedHealth Group and leaders from all local health systems represented in the audience.

The discussion included statements such as: 

“Right now, you’re collecting a lot of data and over the next few years, you’ll continue to share your behavioral footprint,” Deneen Vojta, UnitedHealth Group.

“Open data to entrepreneurs so they can create new ideas on new treatment models that will significantly open up new innovation,” Reid Oakes, Oracle.

“Reducing face to face visits by 40%. Reducing unnecessary face to face time to reduce scarcity,” Anurag Gupta, Boston Consulting Group.

“A visit starts in a different way today and in the future it could be done in a virtual space anytime anywhere at anytime,” Mark Blatt, Intel.

This event is the first of many expected at the ICC, and you can learn more about the center and upcoming events at: MillCityICC.org. The panel discussion will also be available. Stay tuned– we’ll be sharing it in the next two weeks.

Strategic Partnerships Powering The Internet of Things

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The Digi M2M Conference is only months aways and we’re looking forward to another great conference. For those that are unable to attend, you can get a glimpse of what we’ll be covering in this interview with Freescale’s Stephane Gervais-Ducouret.

What is your role at Freescale?

I am responsible for global marketing as part of the Freescale Connect Partner Team and am dedicated to our Embedded Board Solutions (EBS) proven partners, like Digi. In my role, I largely focus on the market dynamics, needs and demands and how modules and processors compliment these needs with an interest in faster EBS adoption to achieve business growth.

Stephane-GD 1000x1000a

What consists of the Digi-Freescale partnership? What is the added advantage of such a partnership?

Digi is a key EBS Proven Partner, which is the highest category for EBS partners. Digi is unique in that its offering goes beyond board design and manufacturing to include services that allow M2M applications. This is a good strategic match with Freescale as we increasingly focus on the Internet of Things (IoT).

Moreover, Digi’s ConnectCore® 6 is a promising form factor that we look forward to leveraging in our EBS co-selling program.

You were at the event last year. What did you take out of it?

At last year’s event, Digi’s M2M message was incredibly strong. I think Digi’s vision and various case studies were an eye-opener to what IoT is all about.  For those who attended, it was clear that Digi does more than just connect products wirelessly, they also help connect products into the enterprise, have a cloud offering to help manage data and devices, and provide consulting services. In other words, Digi offers a truly end-to-end M2M solution.

Since last year’s event, Freescale has demonstrated the Digi IoT demo at numerous events helping attendees to better visualize what IoT means concretely and how Digi and Freescale make M2M happen.

Freescale Enabled

You’ve been invited to speak again this year. Can you give us a sneak-peak of the topics/highlights you’ll be covering?

I will present on a few of our embedded board solutions program and provide a sneak peak of what you might be able to expect from our next-generation processors, from the smallest to the most powerful and feature-rich. I will also be sharing Freescale’s vision of IoT and M2M, and discuss the huge opportunities that lie ahead for Freescale and Digi.

I hope to communicate to the attendees our exciting junction and how they can be part of the M2M revolution. Cisco is predicting 50 billion connected devices by 2020 and about 50% will be industrial/automation related, so this is exciting times for the industry. Those who want to surf the next big wave would benefit from attending Digi’s M2M conference.

Any last words?

I enjoyed last year’s event and I’m thrilled to be attending again this year in such great environment with great people.

Click here for more information on the Digi Europe M2M Conference 2014.

For more information on Freescale: www.freescale.com/

Students Innovate with Digi: Formula Buckeyes

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Some of the most creative applications of our products come from students. Every year, we are involved with student-led projects that are breaking new ground in industries like automotive, solar power, smart energy, and more. We support these efforts as it leads to insightful feedback on our products and fuels a talented workforce. Here is one of the many projects Digi is helping to support.

The Formula Buckeye SAE Race Team is made up of students from all disciplines. From mechanical engineers, to business, to art students, it’s truly a team effort. The completely student led team must fund, design, build, and test, a high performance racing vehicle that will compete across the country in races with over 100 schools. The car can accelerate from 0-60 in 3.5 seconds!

This year, the team has decided to implement a telemetry project to monitor engine performance and troubleshoot issues. Data is currently stored locally on the car’s ECU and this telemetry project would allow for remote access to these data points. The Digi product being used is an XTend Serial Module. With this module, they are able to read sensor data at a range of more than 15 miles!

Around 20 different sensors are gathering data on the car. They include:

  • Engine Temperature
  • Incoming Air Temperature
  • Vehicle Speed
  • Traction Control
  • Steering Wheel Position
  • On/Off Switches
  • Manifold Air Pressure
  • And More

They plan to create either a Java or Labview application, which will act as a virtual cockpit for the vehicle. The application will display the read outs of each sensor on a computer monitor. This will enable the team to remotely troubleshoot and diagnose performance issues in the vehicle. Future plans hope to accomplish remote control of the engine.

Preparations for the 2014 racing season are underway! Check out their website and Facebook Page for updates.

Are you student? Are you working with Digi products? Let us know how you are innovating on Twitter, our Facebook Page, or in the comments below. And check out the other student projects we are a part of here.

Look What I Made: XBee Project Updates

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We come across amazing XBee projects every day, so we like to remind you that we’re constantly updating the XBee Project Gallery. Here are just a few of the latest additions– from a a Foursquare-enabled gumball machine to a high-altitude balloon that sees all.

Also, check out XBee on Pinterest and our XBee Project Pinboard that includes all of the projects from the XBee Project Gallery.


Check ‘N Chew: Foursquare-enabled Gumball Machine by Matt Richardson, Tyler DeAngelo & Ben Light

This basic gumball machine was hacked with a stepper motor, Arduino and an XBee. When someone checks into an authorized location and a gumball is dispensed. The whole process only taking a couple of seconds from Foursquare check-in to gumball dispensing. Yum!

Keep an eye out for our interview with Matt Richardson later this week!

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AnyWay: Remote Controlled Segway by Dexter Industries

With a few simple additions, Dexter Industries has modified the AnyWay Segway to be remote controlled. The first step was adding a NXTBee onto the Segway to enable radio communication between the device and the computer. The NXTBEee located on the Segway then communicates with the XBee Explorer USB on the computer. Finally, the commands are sent through XCTU, which is a free terminal program provided by Digi.

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High Altitude Balloon Launch by SparkFun Engineer, Aaron
Aaron, an engineer at SparkFun, used electronics to launch a high altitude balloon. He used a foam cooler for the payload box. Inside inside of the box,  Arron included a 1 Watt XBee as the transmitting radio.
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Wireless Finger Drum by Sam Thongrong

Sam combined a RevIO and some force sensitive resistors to create a finger drum. In order to make the device wireless, he then attached an XBee radio.  The Xbee allows for signals to be sent from the RevIO to PC speakers that play the sound.
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