So, You’ve Got Sensor Data. What Does It Really Mean?

Bernhard Kappe
Bernhard Kappe

This post was previously on the Pathfinder Software site. Pathfinder Software changed its name to Orthogonal in 2016. Read more.

Storage and processing of streams of sensor data is becoming an increasingly large issue in the connected care space. We asked Justin Delay, Co-Founder and CMO of TempoIQ to write a guest post with his perspective on the space:

Mike Yagley, Andrew Cronk, and I co-founded TempoIQ (formerly TempoDB) to solve the really hard problems around making sense of sensor data and the measured world. Simply put, we provide a software backend for our customers to enable sensor analytics within their applications.

The reality is that collecting data from sensors is not a new idea. What is changing is the scale and the scope at which we’re trying to consume and make sense of that data

In the medical world, we’re seeing a big transformation in the way hospitals collect and store data. In the past, patients would be connected to sensors and devices measuring all sorts of things that supplied printouts of the results. Traditionally, that’s how we tried to make sense of sensor data. But the technology wasn’t there to collectively store, access and use it in such large quantities.

To complicate matters, the cost of medical devices and sensors has been rapidly decreasing, leading to more consumer-based products like Fitbit and Jawbone bringing more data into the mix and bringing up new questions. How do we collect the data from all of these devices, and how do we make sense of it?

The burgeoning sophistication of cloud computing technologies has catapulted data storage and collection to the next level. By leveraging new technologies and building proprietary software, TempoIQ is able to create an infrastructure that makes sense of the data and converts it into usable information.

Even though the new technology is a breakthrough, if it doesn’t lead to better outcomes for the patient, or better insight for the medical professional, it doesn’t matter. We must have tools in place to discover patterns or spot population trends that may not be noticeable by looking at data on an individual basis. TempoIQ provides these tools in the form of a cloud-based software infrastructure and sensor analytics capabilities. Our customers can build their own applications (whether it’s a web dashboard for doctors or a personal fitness device) on top on our infrastructure. We partner with hardware providers to seamlessly integrate their data into our sensor analytics cloud, and provide all of the tools they need to build applications.

Our client, Brightergy, is a great case study. As a traditional solar panel installer, Brightergy sought us out to transform its business from a one-time sales company to a client-partnership business. The company created the Brighter Link platform, which pairs solar panel installations with real-time sensor analytics capabilities. Powered by TempoIQ, Brighter Link allows users to see how their solar panels are performing, how to optimize the energy yield and how to proactively diagnose essential maintenance.

On the medical device side, we worked with Jawbone, the activity tracker. By partnering with us, Jawbone was able to focus on building a fantastic product while we supplied the infrastructure to effectively scale out sensor data collection and storage.

While TempoIQ is a B2B company, we understand the importance of connecting with the people who consume sensor data and make decisions based on the information, so we incorporate our client’s end-user mindset into development. We build tools for other software engineers to build applications because if the tools don’t serve the needs of the end-users, they are ineffective.

This understanding has transformed TempoDB into TempoIQ. We realized that our company was much more than a database provider. Incorporating sensor analytics into products is transformative for companies, and clients were searching for businesses that were dedicated to taking the journey with them.

TempoIQ branding circles back to our original mission of making sense of the measured world. For us, it’s about getting intelligence, getting insight and understanding the decision-making process. We really think of ourselves as business partners with our customers, interacting and integrating with them at the highest levels of their organizations.

Experts forecast as many as 100 billion connected devices in the world by 2020, and that’s revolutionary. It’s a scale that we’ve never experienced before. When harnessed, these devices and the data they provide can and enable new medical devices, drive breakthroughs in research and care, and ultimately, transform and change lives. But we need the tools to handle the sensor data and make the information usable. TempoIQ is excited to see where all of this will take us, and how it will affect and improve people’s lives, and ultimately, our entire world.

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