Disrupting and Enhancing Healthcare with the Internet of Things


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Talk given to graduate students of the Heath, Technology & Engineering program at USC on 6 Mar 2013. Covers some basics of Internet of Things (IoT), some example healthcare-related IoT device, and how IoT can change how we approach healthcare.

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  • Occasionally I write for Make magazine, the standard-bearer of this new “Maker movement” that includes Arduino. Several years ago I wrote the book on hacking the Roomba robotic vacuum. It was called “Hacking Roomba”. And in 2009 I cofounded CrashSpace, the first hackerspace in Los Angeles.
  • I’ve been involved in the Arduino community since 2006, and have produced a set of instructional material and Arduino-targeted hacking products. Spooky Arduino has been translated into six other languages and the designs of ScrewShield and the Wiichuck adapter are licensed to several electronics manufacturers.
  • But what I mostly focus on is my company ThingM. ThingM is a ubiquitous computing / Internet of Things device studio, an R&D lab, and a micro-OEM.
    ThingM primarily designs a range of RGB LEDs with attached controllers.
  • Here’s two examples of our research.
    WineM is a wine rack that knows what wine you have and illuminates the wine to indicate queries you give the wine rack (“show me the cabernets”, “what should I drink with this meal?”)
    Glowpull is a drawer pull that illuminate right before you grab it. It was an exploration of “jewelry for the home”.
  • We’re most famous for our range of “Smart LED” BlinkM products.
    They’re sort of a fundamental atom of ubiquitous computing, combining an RGB LED with a tiny microprocessor. The microprocessor encapsulates knowledge about color theory and how to drive LEDs.
  • Over the last year, we’ve had two successful Kickstarter campaigns for blink(1), a USB notification light that turns information on the Net or your computer into a multicolored light. We’ve sold over 10,000 blink(1)s and have seen some awesome uses of it we never imagined.
  • We’ve been thinking about what is now called Internet of Things for several years. We’ve been investigating imbuing everyday objects with computation. How does that change those objects? How does it change our relationship to them?
    Only in the last few years have we been able to explore some of these questions in detail.
  • Before the “Internet of Things” became a buzzword, we have glimmers of this perception -> computation -> networking cycle.
    Package tracking seems mundane but we now get near real-time updates of package trajectory. We can instill exception logic when a package deviates from its planned course.
  • Some cars automatically adjust their seats, mirrors, and other driver environment based on which keyfob has activated the car. Your car knows you and communicates to your seat.
  • Now that we all carry a high-bandwidth network gateway and high-resolution UI controller, our conception of IoT includes our smartphones as the spyglass and mediator into the secret life of machines.
    The Egg Minder tells you when your eggs are due to go bad and when to buy more.
    Attach Tile to important losable things and anyone with the Tile app will help find it.
    Nest is a thermostat that learns your behavior, adjusts for energy price changes.
    Egg Minder: http://www.quirky.com/shop/619-Egg-Minder-Smart-Egg-Tray
    Nest Thermostat: https://nest.com/
    Tile: http://www.thetileapp.com/
  • from Moore, 2003, and Kuniavsky “Smart Things”
    How is this becoming possible and where is it going? It’s helpful to look at Moore’s Law. This is the version of the graph we’re used to seeing. “Every 18 months we see a doubling in chip performance”.
    But there’s another way to look at it.
  • from Moore, 2003, and Kuniavsky “Smart Things”
    Inverted, we see the per-transistor cost is dropping at the same rate. A given unit of computation is getting cheaper and cheaper.
  • We’re at the beginning of being able to think of computation as an additional material, rather than a fundamental aspect of a product.
    And the particular microcontroller on the right is the same type that’s used in Arduino.
  • I am not a healthcare professional. But I do see trends in technology that are affecting all endeavors, including healthcare. Here’s the three biggest ones I think.
    I’m going to be talking mostly from a products point of view, showing items I’m familiar with.
  • Getting good data on patients is critical to providing good care. There are many new IoT-based tools that allow data on groups and individuals.
  • Several people didn’t think the Japanese governments’ radiation data collection techniques were sound. So an open source effort was founded to log radiation amounts all across Japan (and the world). And they found the radiation was traveling in ways not predicted.
  • The AirCasting project is very much in prototype form, but already small enough and useful enough to be interesting.
  • Proteus “digital pill” http://money.cnn.com/2012/08/03/technology/startups/ingestible-sensor-proteus/
    Also see the ingestible “pill camera” for non-invasive endoscopy.
  • Go into any Apple Store and see tons of “quantified self” devices that trick people into logging biometric data about themselves. :-)
  • How to get more direct connection from doctor to patient without overloading either with extra visits?
  • GlowCaps - http://www.glowcaps.com/
    Also see: http://mobihealthnews.com/20795/slideshow-8-pillboxes-that-connect-to-your-phone/
  • From: http://www.stephensonstrategies.com/100-billion-potential-savings-in-medical-costs-more-evidence-for-glowcap/
  • Here’s some ways people are creating new IoT products quickly
  • In my experience there are three areas to worry about when designing a product. The first, software/apps, is very well understood now and you probably know someone who can help with this. I will ignore this
    The second, electronics hardware, used to be quite difficult, but thanks to easy-to-use tools like Arduino, can be prototyped by novices. Finally, making quality mechanicals and enclosures used to be in the realm of engineering experts, but now 3D printers are everywhere and are driven by simple 3D applications.
  • So how does IoT fit in with Arduino? Arduino at its basic is a computer board with the same raw power as high-end CPUs of a few decades ago.
    The Arduino board is small enough to be embedded into most everyday objects and highly expandable with an ever-growing library of example code and plug-n-play add-on hardware.
    But most importantly, because it’s open source, a community has grown around it
  • Image courtesy of RobotShop.com
  • http://shieldlist.org/
  • Image courtesy of RobotShop.com
  • e-Health Sensor Platform - http://www.cooking-hacks.com/documentation/tutorials/ehealth-biometric-sensor-platform-arduino-raspberry-pi-medical
  • e-Health Sensor Platform - http://www.cooking-hacks.com/documentation/tutorials/ehealth-biometric-sensor-platform-arduino-raspberry-pi-medical
  • But all this Arduino stuff can get a bit confounding. And building a robust prototype requires tooling.
    This is where a hackerspace can help. Hackerspaces are generally communities of inventors and entrepreneurs who found out they benefit from having a common place to house their tools. And then they open the doors to newcomers so everyone is exposed to new ideas.
    I’m going to use CrashSpace as an example here, because it’s what I’m familiar with. Other hackerspaces are similar.
  • At CrashSpace we have the standard compliment of tools you’ll find at a hackerspace: laser cutter, 3d printers, drill presses, mills, grinders, bandsaws, oscilloscopes, soldering stations, and so on. And people who know how to use them all.
  • Like other hackerspaces, CrashSpace members run the professional gamut. Toy inventors, CG animators, aerospace engineers, artists, MBAs, students, teachers, and more. If there’s something you don’t know, just ask and chances are someone is an expert in the field.
    And that’s not even counting the regular workshops and classes.
  • You might even get help building your project.
    photo courtesy Sean Bonner : http://www.flickr.com/photos/seanbonner/5168215163/
  • Disrupting and Enhancing Healthcare with the Internet of Things

    1. 1. Disrupting and Enhancing Healthcare with the Internet of Things Health, Technology & Engineering Program @ USC 6 Mar 2013 Tod E. Kurt
    2. 2. What I’ll be talking about ■ Internet of Things ■ Current IoT-based Devices in Healthcare ■ Developing your own IoT Devices
    3. 3. Who I Am
    4. 4. My Arduino work Spooky Arduino ScrewShield Wiichuck adapter Teaching Products
    5. 5. The Day Job
    6. 6. WineM GlowPull Technology Sketches
    7. 7. BlinkM Smart LEDs
    8. 8. blink(1) USB notification light
    9. 9. Internet of Things aka “ubiquitous computing”, “networked objects”, et al
    10. 10. Internet of Things Perception + Computation + Networking inside everyday objects might be aware of location, people, objects might be on the Internet, might on totally private Net might be stand-alone or use a “gateway”
    11. 11. Internet of Things Examples of proto-IoT My Fedex package blogs to me
    12. 12. Internet of Things My car seat remembers who I am Examples of proto-IoT
    13. 13. Internet of Things Where we are at today Egg Minder Tile Nest
    14. 14. Moore’s Law the graph we are used to seeing
    15. 15. Moore’s Law, also per-transistor cost of CPUs
    16. 16. Information Processing as Material 1989: $900 2009: $0.47 33 MHz, 20 MIPs 20 MHz, 20 MIPs We are headed towards computation being a nil cost add-on
    17. 17. IoT and Healthcare ■ Disruption through Pervasive Data Collection ■ Disruption through Doctor-Patient Disintermediation ■ Disruption through Rapid Product Design How is IoT changing healthcare?
    18. 18. Pervasive Data Collection “Need More Input!”
    19. 19. Environmental Monitoring Safecast Radiation Maps of Fukushima ■ Decentralized groups build datasets needed for analyzing health impacts ■ Part of the “Citizen Science” movement – anyone can join ■ Qualified sensors and processes ensure data quality
    20. 20. Personal Environmental Monitoring ■ Air quality monitor: temp, humidity, CO, NO2, ■ Body monitor: heart rate, breathing rate, activity level, core temp ■ Measures body response to environmental conditions ■ Logs to cloud for aggregate analysis AirCasting w/ BioHarness
    21. 21. Patient Monitoring An example: FDA approved Proteus “digital pill” ■ Ingestible or wearable sensors allow 24/7 data collection ■ Track drug dosage over time, compliance, vitals ■ Data uploaded to cloud service for inspection by doctors
    22. 22. Patient Self-Monitoring An example: Fitbit ■ Small sensor measures movement gait & speed, sleep patterns ■ Turns data collection into game w/others ■ Upload historical data to the cloud for future reference ■ New apps use sensor in new ways
    23. 23. Disintermediation “A doctor in every home”
    24. 24. ■ Direct, distributed medical care at home, at work ■ Information flows from doctor to patient, complements data flow from patient ■ Not too many examples of this yet, compared to data collection ■ So instead let’s look at one example in detail Disintermediation
    25. 25. Example: GlowCaps ■ Cloud-connected pill bottles ■ Log when drugs are taken ■ Reminders when not taken ■ “Press for Refill” ■ Uses cell network so no setup required
    26. 26. GlowCaps
    27. 27. Rapid Product Design “Hack your way to success”
    28. 28. Rapid Product Design ■ Three main areas of product design: ■ Software (“apps”) — everyone does this ■ Electronics — Arduino or similar ■ Enclosure / Mechanical — 3D printers } Expertise for all three found in garages & hackerspaces
    29. 29. Arduino ■ A microcontroller board ■ A collection of add-ons (code & hardware) ■ An open source application for Mac / Windows / Linux ■ A community What is it?
    30. 30. Arduino But most importantly, Arduino is: an open, community-focused way of encouraging rapid-prototyping What is it? “What’s the quickest way to solve this problem?” not: “What’s the cheapest / smallest / most efficient way to solve this problem?”
    31. 31. Arduino Boards Explosion of different form-factors
    32. 32. Arduino Shields “shields” = stackable add-on boards for sensors, actuators, communication, etc. “317 shields from 125 makers, and counting!”
    33. 33. Arduino Software Simple but not limiting Arduino Eclipse for AVR
    34. 34. Arduino Community Forums
    35. 35. Arduino Community Wikis
    36. 36. A Simple IoT Example “Location-aware motion-detecting music player” motion detector Arduino GPS/GPRS shield MP3 shield+ + +
    37. 37. A Simple IoT Example !!! Working prototype in an afternoon “Location-aware motion-detecting music player”
    38. 38. e-Health Sensor Platform “just” another Arduino shield
    39. 39. e-Health Sensor Platform
    40. 40. Arduino as a Hardware Lingua Franca ■ No need to know the details for the common-case or to hack perturbations ■ Use it as a way of describing product topologies ■ If new tech exists, likely an Arduino example for it
    41. 41. Challenges for IoT & Healthcare ■ Ownership of data ■ Data retention policies ■ Data transmission security ■ Longevity of startups creating health-critical applications ■ Safety of prototype devices
    42. 42. @thingm / @todbot http://thingm.com/ http://todbot.com/blog/ http://crashspace.org/ Thank You
    43. 43. Hackerspaces ■ Rapid-prototyping tool repository ■ Expertise repository ■ Community Why ?
    44. 44. Hackerspace Tools3d printers? laser cutters? mills? drills? scopes? Yes.
    45. 45. Hackerspace ExpertiseNeed expert advice? Come here
    46. 46. Hackerspace CommunityLike-minded individuals can help solve problems or help prototype your project
    47. 47. Hackerspace CommunityHelped many successful projects
    48. 48. Arduino + Hackerspaces = Try Out Things Fast ■ Arduino provides a huge standardized repository of extant code and hardware ■ Hackerspaces provide tools, expertise, & friends to help out ■ Using both you can rapidly iterate new ideas ■ Rapid iteration necessary to experiment with latest Internet of Things technology