By 2020, the market for IoT-enabled healthcare will be worth over $117 billion. Realizing its full potential requires solving significant technological challenges — accurate, reliable sensors; real-time data analysis; power-efficient transmission and robust network security — in a system that must be resilient and scalable. From designing sensors to collect medical data to securing data transmissions and networks, Draper’s engineers have the expertise necessary to enable and integrate connected medical devices.
Draper’s SysteMD™ sensors measure factors like heart rate, pupil dilation and skin conductance to quantify physiological reactions to emotionally evocative stimuli. Draper’s algorithms enable SysteMD to identify patterns in sensor data that correlate to mental health conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder, which SysteMD classifies accurately in between 82 percent and 94 percent of cases. An objective tool for clinicians in diagnosing, treating and monitoring the progression of mental health disorders, SysteMD is potentially networkable with electronic medical records and could be used for telehealth applications.
The IoT provides opportunities to network devices that deliver therapy. To enable high-fidelity neural stimulation to treat chronic pain and other conditions, Draper developed a wireless, radio-powered neural stimulator. At 2.5 mm in length and 0.5 mm in diameter, the device is 5 times smaller than the next-smallest commercially available wireless stimulator. Clipped directly onto a nerve, Draper’s device can stimulate intermittently or continuously, directed by a transmitter device outside the body. The transmitter could be networked in the future.
To continuously transmit large data volumes, IoT infrastructure needs to maximize efficiency to conserve frequency spectrum capacity. In the Atoms to Product program, sponsored by DARPA and the Air Force Research Laboratory, Draper is developing new approaches to braid microscopic NanoLitz wires to reduce heat loss, improve efficiency and sharpen filter response. Draper’s microfluidics-inspired approach would be scalable to large numbers of wires at high throughput. Draper also is leading work to design the wire to optimize its electrical performance, potentially enabling devices to transmit four times more data per channel and receive much fainter signals.
Data collected and transmitted by networked devices reside in electronic medical records — which, once stolen, sell for thousands of dollars on the black market and are the leading source of identity theft. To protect two-way data communications on the IoT, Draper could apply the encryption and authentication approach it used in the Secure Micro Digital Data Link (SmDDL), a compact transceiver developed to provide a secure downlink for unmanned vehicles.
To secure embedded systems, Draper designed the Inherently Secure Processor, which prevents systems from executing malicious code at the processor level, providing immunity from entire classes of common exploits. Draper can address vulnerabilities in the software of cyber-physical systems using a suite of tools it developed for analyzing and repairing software that is in development or legacy code.
IoT-enabled infrastructure represents a new scale of interconnectivity. Leveraging decades of engineering real-time data collection, transmission and assured security, Draper’s technologies can serve as the basis for building, protecting and advancing the medical industry’s networks.
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