Millions of connected implant devices constantly collect data from patients around the world. And yet healthcare providers often struggle to extract timely and actionable insights into patients’ wellbeing and make proactive interventions. Medtronic, the largest global medical device company, chose OutSystems to build FocusOn, a remote monitoring and triaging platform for cardiac conditions that saves clinical staff time and ensures better outcomes for patients.
85% less data for health care professionals to review
>335,000 sessions triaged
15 minutes to onboard new clinics
“We wanted a secure platform that would allow us to build the capabilities we needed quickly and easily—and that’s what OutSystems offers.”
A New Platform for Life-Saving Heart Monitoring
Challenge - Medtronic is no stranger to healthcare innovation. From a humble start as a medical equipment repair shop in 1949, it rapidly rose to the forefront of the industry, creating the world’s first external battery-powered pacemaker in 1957 and continuously developing new devices and therapies ever since. Today, Medtronic offers technologies such as implantable drug delivery systems, spinal implants, automated insulin pumps, and other devices that support treatment for over 70 chronic conditions.
Medtronic devices play a key role in the healthcare of millions of people worldwide—and those with connectivity are constantly generating thousands of data points that can be shared. In particular, its systems that monitor cardiac rhythms upload data to Medtronic’s CareLink network up to eight times a day, presenting an ideal opportunity for clinical staff to track patients’ health and intervene proactively when they need medical care.
The challenge lies in finding a way to put relevant information in front of clinical staff without swamping them with too much data or adding extra analysis tasks to their already considerable workload. Healthcare institutions simply don’t have the staff, skills or tools required to manage this continuous flow of data.
For Medtronic, meeting this challenge signifies a digital shift for the business: “Everything we do at Medtronic is about alleviating pain, restoring health and extending life—and the way we do that is evolving over time,” says Karel Nouwen, Senior IT Director, Digital Business and Digital Health at Medtronic. “Originally, our work was all about delivering equipment, but nowadays, to deliver better outcomes for patients, products have a digital dimension too.”
This change in focus led Karel’s team to start building a dedicated platform that is used to monitor and interpret the data from Medtronic devices, triage cases that need immediate attention, and alert clinical staff when intervention is required, without overloading them with too much data.
Build Rather Than Buy Proves the Pain-free Solution
Solution - Medtronic built version 1.0 of FocusOn, its IoT-enabled monitoring and triage platform, using a third-party off-the-shelf eHealth platform—but the team quickly realized it was too hard to customize to their specific requirements.
To overcome this, the Medtronic team started planning and budgeting for a major upgrade using low-code. Thanks to a strong track record in the eHealth sector, versatile low-code capabilities, and vital built-in security features, Karel’s team chose to work with OutSystems.
To protect the sensitive data FocusOn handles, Medtronic chose OutSystems Sentry—a SOC2 Type II compliant cloud platform. As Karel explains: “We wanted a secure platform that would allow us to build the capabilities we needed quickly and easily—and that’s what OutSystems offers.”
“One of the key reasons we chose OutSystems is the flexible licensing model,” explains Karel. “With digital health solutions, you can’t be sure how many patients are going to use the application. For some applications, it could be as few as 50—but for others could be up to 50,000 or more. We can use the platform to quickly scale without the need for an equally scalable wallet.”
With OutSystems, Medtronic was able to take FocusOn 2.0 from proof of concept to production in just six months, with development support from OutSystems partner Noesis. And because it’s built using low-code, Karel’s team can rapidly and simply make adjustments to the platform as their requirements evolve. As an added bonus, using OutSystems has reduced the IT budget needed for the program by around 50 percent.
FocusOn takes data from patients’ implanted heart monitors from Medtronic’s CareLink network. It is then analyzed and flagged for any abnormal rhythms, skipped beats, or other concerns. Abnormalities trigger an automated workflow that notifies the patient’s healthcare provider, and allows them to follow up in the most effective way, whether that’s an appointment or an immediate intervention.