When I hear the term “Internet of Things” aka IoT, I immediately imagine a futuristic, Jetson-esque connected world. Whether it’s a robot in a ruffled dress, flying your cars to work or the son’s omnipresent antennae/propeller/beanie they have it all going on. Everything digitized and embedded with a software chip — from the clothes we wear on our back, all the way down to a water thermos is logging our H2O consumption and proactively making suggestions based upon the humidity and ambient air temperature. The IoT Healthcare industry has been dubbed the hottest industry of 2016, and it has fast-forwarded our consumer lives into what we (read I) always imagined it would look like in the future.
Consider the projections made by Gartner analysts who forecast that 6.4 billion connected things will be in use worldwide in 2016, and will reach 20.8 billion by 2020. Among those 6.4 billion connected things, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reported that approximately 500 million users will be using a medical mobile connected app this year and that by 2018, the number is expected to grow by 1.8 billion users. By looking at the numbers alone, it is clear the healthcare ecosystem is rapidly expanding. How will your team scale alongside this rapidly growing industry?
As your team starts building out the product and are heads down in prototyping, having manual processes around product development might seem to be economical — however it is a false economy. Is it the most efficient way to run your product development processes long term? You’re banking on that inflection point when your version one orders increase by powers of ten week by week. Manual-intensive processes cannot keep up in real time with issues of high mix and fast-paced version control, nor with the worldwide supply chain you’ve cultivated to create your products.
The silver lining is in the cloud — your company made a successful product. Now the demands for your current product have increased so rapidly, the only way to keep that silver lining is to keep it in the cloud. Ahem. A multi-tenant SaaS cloud-based Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) solution might be worthy of consideration.
Your company has to rapidly increase volume of production and bring new products to market, while all the while maintaining rigorous quality and compliance standards with the FDA. Eliminate these manual processes and spend that extra time working on your core concepts rather than attempting to hunt up that revision change you made two weeks ago.
Many conversations with medical device engineers, operations, and quality professionals on their common pain points in product development are consistent and unyielding in that most start with this brute-force method, until their manual processes are abandoned altogether as they can’t scale.
You’re in the digital world creating a high tech product, no need to rock it old school with paper based or Excel spreadsheets. Automate your processes, break out of the silos between product development, electrical engineers, mechanical engineers, quality teams and manufacturing. Allow the ease of a single product development platform to help your team collaborate with less friction, develop a knowledgebase or repository of development and on-board others more rapidly.
If you find yourself focusing on the ‘plumbing’ of infrastructure more than the actual solution or end product, then consider a cloud-based SaaS solutions that provides real-time visibility anywhere in the world. Arena is the leader in all-in-one cloud-based product lifecycle management and quality management solutions (QMS). Our almost 1,000 customers include over 150 medical device and 250 IoT companies — companies that make the hottest wearables in the industry, like Fitbit, Jawbone, and Misfit Wearables.
Exciting times for the IoT world. If you share that same excitement, below are a few links to Arena’s whitepaper and case studies, that dive deeper into the IoT and medical device worlds. For inquiries/questions/feedback we welcome comments. Cheers.