Today’s medical profession, like other professions it seems, depend on multiple ‘gadgets’ to complete their work. From handheld scanners to patient monitoring equipment, electronic devices are at the heart of patient safety (pun intended). Now, I am not a medical expert, but it is obvious that the dependence on devices from the moment a patient enters the hospital or clinic are crucial.
What the COVID-19 pandemic has shown us is how our medical system is struggling to scale up in time of need. This scaling up has less to do with medical staff, although that is an issue, but more the availability of equipment needed to treat patients (ventilators, monitoring equipment etc.) and to keep the medical staff safe, such as personal protective equipment (PPE) and sterilized devices.
Part of the shortage of equipment stems from historical deployment. The devices are either dependent on wiring to power them, which is infrastructure and extremely hard to scale when needed, or battery powered devices, which are easy to scale, but very hard to maintain or keep sterilized. More on that later.
Real wireless power is a technology that can help with this challenge. In providing continuous power to devices in the clinic/hospital (or at home), we can now be free to add more devices without having to worry about wires, or changing batteries. Wireless power in such domains can have the following advantages:
- Factory hermetically sealed devices that can be sterilized like other medical devices: battery powered devices have either charging ports or battery doors, both of which increase the size of the device and make it harder to hermitically seal.
- Smaller devices: since they receive the power they need all the time, instead of carrying a battery that lasts a whole day/week or running a wire to the smallest of sensors/devices.
- More connected devices in the space: Sicker patients need to be monitored more closely, needing more devices per hospital bed. Today’s wired sensors can hamper diagnosis, and reduce patient comfort .
- Agile deployment with no worry of scale: We’ve seen patient beds in hospital corridors, which cannot be monitored like proper permanent hospital beds. But with truly wireless devices, monitoring despite location can become a reality.
Medical IoT is a real deployment challenge today. At Ossia, we see this challenge happen anywhere you have a large number of deployed devices such as retail stores with tens of thousands of electronic price tags, or industrial factories with thousands of sensors critical for successful operation. Legacy deployments are currently centered around wires and batteries which are expensive to deploy and/or maintain.
Of course, this is not limited to hospital buildings. Temporary hospitals like we see today or during natural disasters can hugely benefit from agile device deployment that simplify the use and maintenance of complex medical systems.
Ossia’s Cota® Real Wireless Power™ can power devices in the presence of people. This will become integral in medical deployments across the world and will enable medical systems to scale up as needed in times of crisis.
I would like to invite the medical device manufacturers and experts to investigate the Cota technology for their solutions. Ossia is currently engaged with top tier manufacturers in medical, retail, consumer, automotive and infrastructure globally. With FCC certifications backing up these engagements, we believe that our technology will literally empower the medical device industry to a new level. Join us to make the future somewhere healthier than in the past.