Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Glassbeam produces healthcare IoT analytics blueprint

Steve Rogerson
December 5, 2017
California-based Glassbeam has announced a clinical engineering analytics blueprint so hospital networks and independent service organisations can leverage machine data analytics for service management, asset use and capital expenditure decisions.
The Clean blueprint is claimed to be the industry's first IoT analytics offering that is multi-modality and multi-manufacturer in scope covering key imaging modalities such as MRI and CT scanners manufactured by vendors such as GE and Siemens. The blueprint is already in production at Novant Health analysing machine logs and providing proactive and predictive analytics.
Complex machine data challenges are numerous across all industries, but they can be most clearly seen within the healthcare vertical. All healthcare organisations strive to reduce asset downtime, and get an unfiltered view into asset and operator utilisation, while providing a better experience for patients. With connected machines in the industrial IoT market, these objectives can be accomplished by conducting analysis on machine logs from a wide range of medical assets such as MRI, CT scanners, ultrasound and x-ray machines. 
However, without a clear methodology, almost all healthcare organisations are unequipped to access and analyse these data properly since machine logs are complex in formats and need specialised data transformation and analysis tools.
Glassbeam's Clean blueprint does just that – provide a readymade deployment and operational recipe that can be implemented in days versus months, with pre-configured dashboards allowing clinical engineering and bio medical teams to become data driven in day-to-day operations.
"As a veteran of clinical engineering programmes for over 20 years, I have been eagerly waiting to see someone disrupt the status quo and step up to the plate to deliver a solution like Glassbeam," said Alan Koreneff, president of HTM Operations and former vice president at Novant Health. "Starting with high-end imaging modalities makes sense, but as more medical assets become equipped with operating systems, the opportunity for complex machine log data analysis will expand from advanced machines such as patient imaging equipment, to patient monitoring equipment and other equipment types."
The Clean blueprint comprises five components: medical modalities, machine logs, gateway server (optional), agent and analytics. Glassbeam works closely with the IT department of the clinics and hospitals to enable each component in the architecture as well as satisfy the requirements for documentation and compliance. The offering connects to imaging machines controlled via Windows or Linux based operating system and is approved on a number of modalities from GE and Siemens.
The Glassbeam agent is a small Java-based programme powered by PTC ThingWorx that enables data acquisition and secure data transfer to the Glassbeam analytics cloud. This agent can run either on the gateway server or on the cloud. The agent is configured to watch the FTP directory and periodically picks up all the dropped files, groups them by the device identifier, and securely transfers the data to the analytics cloud. Compliance parameters are handled by adhering strictly to the current guidelines and polices enforced by the clinics and hospitals.
Some of the key features of the Clean blueprint include:

  • Single pane of glass to view analytics across multi modalities and manufacturers;
  • Reduced unplanned downtime and reclaim lost revenues with machine availability better than 99.5%;
  • Reduced support costs by 20 to 40% and improve financial management across entire fleet; and
  • Informed operational decisions with clear visibility into asset and operator use.
A typical MRI machine will experience an operational incident six to twelve times per year and will experience downtime for about five hours on average per incident. This equates to hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost revenue at a hospital site that has multiple machines across different sites. Glassbeam analytics leveraging the Clean blueprint cuts these costs and reduces downtime by providing proactive and predictive analytics on complex machine logs collected from these machines.
"Using Glassbeam, healthcare providers can recover over 60% of lost revenues each year from imaging machines such as MRI and CT scanners by reducing machine downtime," said Puneet Pandit, co-founder and CEO of Glassbeam. "In addition, healthcare providers can save over 25% in support costs by making support staff more productive with proactive and predictive analytics. These are huge benefits and Glassbeam is production ready with its Clean blueprint to disrupt the healthcare industry with its machine data analytics."
The blueprint is available for immediate deployment as part of Glassbeam’s SaaS offerings.