What Medical Device Companies Need to Know About Sony's mHealth Platform

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Sony is manufacturing its first wearable medical device, using a unique B2B model that allows healthcare innovators to customize the technology.

As the latest high-profile tech company to enter the medical device market, Sony has announced its plans to launch a wearable wrist monitor. Beginning in 2020, Sony will offer a customizable device exclusively for medical tech companies. 

Unlike other wearable mHealth devices, Sony’s new monitor is not a smartwatch. Although the platform does provide Bluetooth capability, it does not require connection to a phone. This flexibility makes it more broadly useful to healthcare providers looking to analyze patient data in real-time.

Sony’s Business-to-Business Approach

Personalized devices for mobile healthcare — also known as mHealth — have recently become a topic of innovation for major tech companies. The latest mHealth developments aim to capitalize on the gaps left by clinics and hospitals by making care accessible from patients’ own homes.

Many of the leading tech companies are throwing their hats into the mHealth ring. For instance, Apple recently announced plans to invest in mHealth monitoring, doctor-client communications, and clinical trial marketing. With a variety of developments in the works, Facebook and Amazon are also beginning to enter the mHealth market.

Compared to other companies’ patient-targeted technologies, Sony’s wearable monitor takes a unique approach with its business-to-business (B2B) design. This means Sony is designing its product as a customizable platform upon which healthcare companies can build their own applications. The platform’s cloud-based capabilities enable medical tech companies to design — and sell — a wide variety of mHealth services. 

How Does Sony’s Wearable Platform Work? 

For patients with chronic health conditions, Sony’s wearable platform offers a diverse array of in-home benefits. But, because of Sony’s B2B model, the platform’s full potential won’t be realized until mHealth companies purchase the device for their business-to-client (B2C) innovations.

Although the wearable platform is, for now, a blank slate, Sony has already announced several of its potential uses. For example, the mHealth device has the ability to monitor patient movement data, which can help predict whether a patient has been unsteady or is in danger of a fall. It also contains time-monitoring data, which can alert patients when they need to take their medication. Further, the device is equipped with a variety of sensors to monitor everything from heart rate to sleep position. 

Who Stands to Benefit from mHealth Innovations?

Sony’s innovative B2B platform could change the game for in-home healthcare. For providers, Sony’s wearable device offers improved patient engagement, daily reminders and monitoring without a doctor’s visit, and an increase in overall efficiency. For patients, it means greater convenience and accessibility to personalized care.

Sony’s mHealth platform also presents unique opportunities and challenges when it comes to digital marketing. Medical device companies often need to determine whether they should market their products to healthcare providers or patients. In this case, the target audience will likely be other tech companies, who will then be able to customize the device with their own applications. In turn, these companies will market their mHealth apps to doctors, patients, and/or healthcare organizations, using content catered specifically to these audiences.

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