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SETTING THE BENCHMARK

An Inside View of Remote Patient Monitoring and Telemedicine

by Susan Johnson / September 15, 2020

Here at Benchmark, where we design and manufacture high-reliability electronic devices of all shapes and sizes, I've found myself with the unique opportunity to witness the introduction of innovative and emerging technologies on many fronts. It's an inside perspective that I've come to appreciate over my career, where advances in electronics, manufacturing processes, and the latest understanding of medicine all culminate in the complex medical devices that we bring to market with our customers. With the recent advents of key technologies like cloud computing, low power wireless networking, electronics miniaturization, and advances in precision electro-mechanical systems, medical devices today are fundamentally changing how medical professionals and patients approach healthcare.

Most people are familiar with household wellness products like the Fitbit or Apple Watch, that allow an individual to track things like heart rate and basic sleep monitoring. But just as these consumer devices are enabling the masses to seize control of their wellness, so too are wearable medical devices making strides in providing healthcare professionals with a well of insights from which to draw. In addition to this new-found wealth of information, adjacent technologies like remote patient monitoring, point-of-care diagnostics, and combination devices are allowing patients to bring some of the burden of their disease management home with them and out of the clinic.

Remote Patient Monitoring

Remote patient monitoring is an approach to healthcare that utilizes technology to gather patient data outside of conventional clinical settings, introducing healthcare into a patient's home or remotely, where they work and play every day. This approach has been a natural progression where clinicians gain the benefit of larger samples of relevant physiological data to assess, and patients gain convenience to avoid interruptions to their daily lives. Electronic technologies have certainly been a large part of this progression, where various sensors and radios have been consistently shrinking in size, weight, power, and cost requirements, leading to a plethora of connected medical devices some refer to as the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT).

I’m excited to work with a forward-thinking design engineering and manufacturing services company that has made investments in advanced radio frequency design and manufacturing, microelectronics, software engineering, and automation capabilities. These capabilities uniquely position us to produce leading technologies like wearables, handheld diagnostic tools, and various types of connected medical devices.

Point Of Care Diagnostics

In addition to the monitoring of physiological data, there have also been significant advances in the areas of diagnostics for many common diseases and disorders. Novel microfluidic and electrochemical techniques have led to rapid diagnostic tools that are moving clinical testing out of the hospital laboratory and into the point-of-care (POC) setting. By deploying rapid testing systems in non-traditional settings, like outpatient clinics, pharmacies, and in the community, clinicians are now able to make early and accurate diagnoses and institute appropriate intervention more readily. Advanced in-vitro diagnostic (IVD) systems like the Abionic AbioScope® and the DnaNudge NudgeBox™ have proven that rapid disease detection can improve and even save lives. Never more than now, in the midst of a global viral outbreak, have these technologies been more poignant.

Chronic Disease Management

Above all, I'm most astounded by the advances made in therapeutic medical devices in recent years. One of the areas I've seen the most progression has been in the area of combination products, which are medical devices that incorporate the controlled delivery of pharmaceutical or other biological compounds. This has been a major subject of development for the management of many diseases including glucose monitoring and insulin delivery for diabetes and precision drug delivery for chronic respiratory ailments. The ultimate goal of these devices are to improve an individual's quality of life by allowing patients to manage their symptoms, maintain independence, and to potentially minimize their cost of healthcare.

Through Benchmark's design engineering and manufacturing services, I've had the chance to witness firsthand how far these technologies have come in recent years. And with expertise in areas like electrical and mechanical design, fluidics, optical engineering, and mechatronics, our team of design and manufacturing engineers is well equipped to tackle whatever challenges they're presented with, anywhere from concept to production.

I'm thankful to have the opportunity to see what's coming down the road and I can't wait to see what the future has in store!

Tags: Engineering Manufacturing Medical Technologies

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Susan Johnson

Susan Johnson

Susan Johnson is one of Benchmark's Business Development Executives, focused on sales and customer satisfaction for product development and manufacturing for Medical Technologies. Throughout her extensive career in the EMS industry, Susan has worked in electronic product development, management, and business development. Susan holds a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Iowa and an M.B.A from the University of St. Thomas.