Machine Data Analytics from Glassbeam: The Antidote to a Challenging Environment

Puneet Pandit

It is well known that margins in the medical device industry are eroding, partly due to the fact that nearly all health care providers are involved in some type of group purchasing organization (GPO) and that GPOs account for nearly three-quarters of provider purchases.

One strategy to combat this trend consists of wringing every ounce of efficiency from machines and the people who operate them, as well as the supply chain that keeps them running. The foundation for maximizing efficiency rests in rapidly collecting and efficiently analyzing machine data. Unfortunately, even in today’s data-driven environment, many support engineers still work with home-grown parsing scripts or Notepad applications to open complex logs and conduct primitive searches on data strings. Answers can take hours if they are even found at all.

Since engineers cannot afford to invest so much time and energy for lackluster results, they use Glassbeam analytics solutions to perform sophisticated, multivariable searches and analysis that parse vast amounts of log data and generate predictive and prescriptive insights that yield answers in near real time. Information that might have taken 90 minutes to find in the past is now available in five minutes or less.

Whether a device manufacturer or independent service organization (ISO) is managing these complex machines, Glassbeam brings new levels of efficiency in all areas of operation. Let’s look at just four of these.

Machine Support

Engineers gain instant and easy access to the performance history of each machine by a wide range of networks, such as software version installed or a number and mean time of procedures performed. Glassbeam analytics can trace operating anomalies to obscure correlations that manual procedures would take hours to find. It analyzes the number and severity of errors across all procedures to identify patterns that might suggest the need to update software, issue new guidelines, install replacement parts and more.

Product Management

Engineers can benefit from receiving highly detailed information on how providers are using specific product features and segment this information by factors such as customer size, location and procedure volume. They can track the number and length of procedures conducted by hospitals and doctors over different periods of time and across various geographies. In addition, engineers can track how providers are using the equipment, such as the frequency of different tests performed, to optimize device features for more accurate and faster results.

Sales and Marketing

Manufacturers and ISOs can produce usage reports on performance metrics such as consumables, shelf-stock lifecycles, expiration dates, and component failures. They can also identify the different SKUs used for specific categories of surgical procedures, allowing account managers to better understand a provider’s usage profile.

Professional Services

Engineers can now identify potential operational efficiencies by noting, for example, that the mean time to perform procedures is higher than the average across machines installed at different locations. This might indicate that an operator requires additional training, or that the temperature of the room where the machine resides is either too high or low.

They can also perform preventive diagnostic services to review an entire installed base of equipment to determine how well each machine is performing before an anomaly arises, and thereby improve operating efficiency. For manufacturers and ISOs, this service creates a new revenue stream and also creates a closer engagement with the provider.

In an environment where healthcare providers are more effectively managing costs, highly detailed, forensic analysis of expensive equipment such as CT scanners, molecular diagnostic equipment, MRI machines, robotic surgical equipment, X-ray machines, and similar devices is critical. High-performance machine data analytics offer manufacturers and ISOs the benefit from getting a better handle on how and how effectively their teams are utilizing this equipment and ultimately maximize revenues.