Last week, I held a roundtable with local healthcare and technology leaders to discuss the opportunities and challenges that exist as researchers come up with innovative ways to use internet-connected devices, or the Internet of Things (IoT), in healthcare settings. We talked about how industry leaders, doctors and policymakers can work together to make smart choices regarding issues like patient privacy and data security, in order to foster a thriving industry that provides meaningful benefits to patients.
The First Congressional District is uniquely situated to lead the nation in healthcare IoT, given the wealth of life sciences and technology expertise located right here in our region. It was truly exciting to hear about technology that University of Washington researchers on the Interscatter team have developed for implantable medical devices to communicate with smartphones and other internet-connected devices.
One local mother, who was at the event, told me how technology has helped her child who has Type 1 Diabetes. An IoT glucose monitor allows her child to live a more normal life because she is able to remotely track his blood sugar from anywhere, using her phone.
But we must be forward-looking to support this kind of 21st century patient care, and that means lawmakers need to be responsible stewards of policy. That’s why I started the Congressional IoT Caucus to help educate policymakers. Clearly, there is an emerging set of challenges and opportunities to address for both innovators and consumers, and I look forward to bringing what I heard back to the ‘other’ Washington to help educate my colleagues.
As always, my office is here to serve you. If you have questions or comments about the topics that matter most to you, I encourage you to contact me through my website. You may also keep up-to-date on what I’m doing by following me on social media. If you need assistance dealing with a federal agency, such as the IRS or the VA, please do not hesitate to contact my Bothell office at (425) 485-0085.