There is a quiet revolution underway in the healthcare industry. Under the radar and away from buzzwords, new innovative solutions are upgrading medical equipment across the board.
Pairing the latest and greatest computer hardware with cutting-edge software solutions medtech megatrends such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI) promise to bring a technological revolution to the medical sector. However, one of the main challenges with this general idea is that medical equipment manufacturers cannot simply take top-of-the-line consumer-grade computer hardware, put it in a different form factor, combine it with medicine-oriented software, and call it a day. Not only do consumer-grade products not reach the reliability, stability, and longevity required by medical applications but additional provisions must also be made to guarantee that unique challenges in healthcare applications are fully satisfied.
These challenges have caused a significant mismatch in terms of expectations and hype around medtech and the real-world implementation of such solutions. The disappointing reality is that the technologies revolutionizing other industries often are not ready to make the same monumental impact on the healthcare industry.
New technologies and innovations in the computer hardware space are now turning this disappointing reality on its head, paving the way for rapid and – most importantly – safe adoption of cutting-edge technologies in the medical field.
Smarter Medical Imaging
While imaging applications like MRI machines and PET scanners may very well be considered the most high-tech equipment you can find in a hospital, they are usually decidedly low-tech in other ways.
Due to the intense magnetism and radiation emitted by such machines, as well as the critical nature of what they do, upgrading medical imaging equipment with state-of-the-art computing abilities has not been a priority for most manufacturers. However, the increasing sophistication of all the other pieces of such equipment means that the amount of data that is generated – and requires processing – is beginning to put serious strains on the traditional work processes.
At Innodisk, customer demand for industrial computing solutions that are designed with special protection against the strong magnetism found in imaging equipment is at an all-time high. This trend is part of a larger trend to equip imaging equipment with more computing power to ensure quicker results, involve less manual labor, and make way for artificial intelligence-assisted diagnosis.
Put simply, new advancements in the design of industrial-grade DRAM modules, flash storage devices, and embedded peripherals allow medical imaging equipment manufacturers to make their devices smarter and more powerful than ever before. With powerful data processing capabilities connected directly to medical imaging equipment, system designers can enable real-time processing of the massive imaging data generated by their equipment and feed all pertinent information to medical professionals for further analysis and diagnosis.
Paving the Way for the Medical Internet of Things
While medical imaging equipment presents extraordinarily challenging applications for industrial-grade computer hardware, critical components intended for less challenging medical applications also fail to meet their requirements. Indeed, even the three fundamental requirements for components used in medical equipment – reliability, stability, and longevity – are difficult to fulfill. With other typical requirements added on top, for example, legacy support, environmental protections, and so on, finding suitable components for medical equipment can seem like an impossible task.
At Innodisk, we have devoted substantial resources to bridging this technology gap. The ambition is simple: to bring top-tier industrial computing hardware to medical applications without making any compromises. That means taking our top-of-the-line product series and making them fully compatible with the strict requirements posed by medical applications.
In practice, this means a lot of customizations and product adaptations– but the result is always the same: it makes the dream of the Medical Internet of Things possible.
For example, Innodisk’s healthcare-optimized DRAM modules come with ample protections against data errors caused by radiation and other types of interference—while also providing exceptional longevity and the legacy support necessary to make innovative medical IoT solutions into viable long-term solutions.
Flash storage devices, meanwhile, can be equipped with customized firmware and hardware solutions to ensure the utmost stability and protection against unstable power supply – among other features such as security fortifications and protections against extreme environmental stresses. With our embedded peripherals, electrostatic discharge and surge protection as well as wide-temperature support are key technologies for meeting medical application requirements.
These considerable leaps in technology mean that the stage is finally set for the introduction of truly innovative medical IoT applications in real-world healthcare settings worldwide. Not only does that mean that the promise of a healthcare sector boosted by technological prowess is finally becoming true, but also that patients will receive better care than ever before. It might not be a flashy medtech innovation, but these are the technologies that make flashy medtech innovations possible.