The Growth of Connected Care

Connected care is a rapidly growing and important new trend in healthcare delivery. This broad term encompasses a variety of care models – from the use of smart devices to collect data, to mobile solutions that provide point-of-care access to data, and even integration between care providers across the continuum of care.

Augmenting traditional care delivery pathways with connected care programs is not without challenges. As this model continues to grow, so does the amount of data generated, and the number of devices used to collect and transmit that data. This presents new challenges to scaling existing IT infrastructure and securing patient data – millions of smart devices create millions of new attack vectors for hackers and cyber criminals. Along with these challenges, sifting through large composite data feeds to find meaningful insights becomes more complex and requires increasingly sophisticated analytic capabilities which organizations may not have readily available. Intel is addressing many of these challenges with innovative new technologies and industry-wide programs to enable new wearable sensor platforms, empower big data analytics, and secure patient data.

Intel continues to develop the wearable device ecosystem through investment and innovation. Over the past several years, Intel has completed significant market transactions with the acquisitions of Basis and Recon Instruments as well as making venture investments in 18 wearables companies through Intel Capital. Smart devices like Basis are currently being used by health systems and payers to better manage population health as early examples of how these devices can improve healthcare. Perhaps Intel’s greatest contributions to the wearable device space, and connected care, will be the Intel Curie™ System on a Chip (SoC) platform. Already this technology has been used in a variety of exciting applications from powering analytics for extreme athletes in the X-Games, to bio-sensing clothing, and smart safety devices for children. It will be exciting to see how future innovators are able to apply this technology to develop new solutions and disruptive business models within the health ecosystem.

While new wearable devices are an important precursor for connected care, much of the value that will be derived from these new models comes from the analytics performed on data generated by these devices. The Intel Trusted Analytics Platform (TAP) is a comprehensive analytics platform developed for just this task. It integrates leading edge technologies for the ingestion, storage, and analysis of large data sets. The TAP platform has been open sourced and has already been successfully used by Penn Medicine to improve early detection of patients with critical conditions.

Finally, organizations looking to implement connected care programs must understand that these new data streams are potential targets for cyber criminals. To help health and life science organizations understand their risk of a data breach, Intel has developed a Healthcare Breach Assessment Program. The cornerstone of this program is a three-stage breach maturity model that encompasses forty key elements considered either baseline, enhanced, or advanced. This model helps health and life science organizations identify possible vulnerabilities and appropriate remediation activities. The program also includes peer and industry comparisons to help organizations on a quarterly basis, a useful tool for IT leadership when considering where to make future investments in security capabilities. Requiring only a 1-2 hour initial phone assessment, the program maps to best in class products and services today across a spectrum of solution providers and provides ongoing quarterly reporting.

What questions about connected care do you have?