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Sprint and T-Mobile – What does this mean for IoT?

Blog, News

Shifting the Connectivity Landscape

If you’ve tuned into the news in the last year, you have probably heard a little bit about the Sprint/T-Mobile merger. This potential deal has now dragged on for a solid two years! However, over the past month, some critical steps have been taken by federal regulators (FCC) in the recent weeks to push the closing of this merger nearly to the finish line.

There still remain a few obstacles to overcome, including dealing with a variety of lawsuits by states looking to block/modify the deal. In spite of those hurdles, most think that the deal is likely to happen within the next couple of months.

What does this mean for the Internet of Things?

New Competition

This potential deal not only creates another giant in the IoT space, comparable in size to Verizon and AT&T, it also (as part of the agreement with the US government) would introduce a new wireless carrier into the US market. That new carrier is Dish Network. Dish has been holding a fair amount of spectrum (radio waves used to transmit wireless signals) and would now be pushed into using that spectrum to serve the market.

Faster to 5G

The potential of a Sprint/T-Mobile merger would bring together arguably the most robust spectrum offering in the country. The new entity would be able to use that spectrum to quickly deploy a significant 5G network footprint in the United States, while putting pressure on AT&T and Verizon to accelerate their 5G buildout.

While we usually think of 5G networks as being insanely fast and power consuming, the 5G standard actually incorporates lower speed, power-conscious networks like NB-IoT and LTE-M. Businesses need to know that these networks are coming soon, and they should be making network migration plans to move from legacy 2G and 3G networks.

Are you ready for change?

While there is good reason for excitement and anticipation as these new networks become real, the reality of sunsetting cellular networks is something that is stinging many. The truth is 2G and 3G networks were always good enough for most IoT applications. Of course they knew this day would come, but it still doesn’t help many businesses that have invested significant resources on legacy, sunsetting network technologies.

As you plan your network strategy, please reach out to us. Integron has managed some of the most high-profile and successful IoT deployments in the world. We’ve seen a few network sunsets in our 30+ year existence, and we’d love to help you.

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Contact Integron to learn more about a network migration strategy

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Virtual Clinical Trials: Understanding the Basics

Blog, Solutions

Bringing the Study to the Patient

One of the biggest challenges that contract research organizations (CROs) face is the recruitment and enrollment of patients. It is estimated that nearly 80 percent of clinical trials fail to even meet the initial patient targets required by studies. Additionally, research shows that a 30 percent dropout rate exists for clinical trial participants, and one in every five trials ends prematurely due to an insufficient number of trial participants. One thing is clear: the system for supporting clinical trial patients needs to improve.

Many CROs have started to adopt virtual clinical trials as a way to solve the problems outlined above. So, rather than centering a study around a physical clinical research facility, virtual clinical research facilities are established that effectively bring the clinical studies directly to the patients. This approach minimizes or, in some cases, eliminates the need for patients to regularly travel to a physical clinical site, while also simplifying the collection of patient data. That slight modification in delivery model also opens the prospective market for patient recruitment up significantly – no longer are CROs restricted to recruiting within a proximity to a physical clinical site.

One in five clinical trials ends prematurely due to an insufficient number of trial participants

Under this model, and with the use of wireless technologies, patients receive a communication device (like a cellular phone or tablet) with the appropriate ePRO or eCOA software that is used to log study data, as well as any connected peripheral devices that might be relevant to the study (i.e. connected weight scale, blood glucose meter, pulse oximeter, etc…). These pre-configured technologies would be delivered directly to the patient, along with the study-related treatments.

The routing of real-time data is managed by the CRO, and its corresponding technology partners. Again, in many cases, the patient is able to perform to many of the requirements of the study from the comfort of his/her home. The obvious benefits of this model are improved patient recruitment and retention. As a secondary benefit, data quality has the potential to improve as study parameters become more patient-centric (i.e. increased frequency of data capture).

Virtual Clinical Trials: the non-exclusive future of clinical trials?

While virtual clinical trials will provide access to more data and uncover better intelligence for the development of pharmaceuticals, there will continue to be a need for the traditional model. However, in either case, wireless technologies are providing the hub to gather and access this valuable data. Integron has a long history of supporting the technology deployments of many leading CROs around the world.

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Integron Shortlisted for Achievements in IoT Integration at IoT World Awards

News, Press Releases

ROCHESTER, NY – April 8, 2019 – Integron, provider of managed IoT services for life sciences, healthcare, and transportation, announced today that it has been shortlisted for the Achievements in IoT Integration recognition at the 2019 Internet of Things World Awards. The IoT World Awards recognizes the best solutions, companies, and individuals as determined by a panel of 15 independent judges. The winner of this prestigious award will be announced on May 15 at the Santa Clara Convention Center.

“We’re honored to be among the companies shortlisted for Achievements in IoT Integration,” Integron President Bryan Lubel said. “Our deep expertise of IoT deployments within specific verticals, paired with our strong partner ecosystem made this recognition possible. It’s why our clients trust us to manage the complexities of their IoT initiatives.”

The awards are presented as part of Internet of Things World, a leading IoT event that connects thousands of strategists, technologists, developers, and implementers from across the IoT ecosystem. Lubel will be leading an insider workshop at the event, “IoT in Connected Health: Bringing the best technologies to life.” The workshop will bring together leading IoT ecosystem partners to demonstrate emerging technologies in cold chain, clinical trials, and remote patient monitoring.

Integron specializes in developing IoT managed services related to wireless connectivity, software-defined networks (SDN), security, provisioning, device management, and support for enterprise businesses. Founded in 1985, Integron has been at the forefront of developing new technology and recognized the potential for growth in the IoT ecosystem early on.

Mobile World Congress 2019

February 26 - March 1
Events

MWC Barcelona (formerly Mobile World Congress) is the largest mobile event in the world, bringing together the latest innovations and leading-edge technology from more than 2,400 leading companies, with a highly-rated conference programme assembling today’s visionaries to explore the hottest topics influencing the industry.

HIMSS 2019

February 12 @ 8:00 am - February 14 @ 5:00 pm
Events

The HIMSS Global Conference & Exhibition brings together champions of health from around the world to help match the pace of change and prepare for the health revolution.

Integron will be exhibiting within the Samsung Health Pavillion.

Integron Recognized With IoT Connectivity Ecosystem Award

News, Press Releases

Rochester, NY – October 17, 2018 – Sensors Midwest, the region’s leading event focused on sensors design and industrial IoT announces the IoT Connectivity Ecosystem – Influencer [ICE-I] award winners. Over 90 submissions were received with over two dozen qualified applicants evaluated. The judges then selected winners selected based on the company and their abilities in a particular application or solution. The judges were a prestigious panel of experts within the IoT community.

Integron, a New York-based managed services provider within the IoT space, has been selected as the winner of an ICE-I award within the “Managed Services” category.

As a leader in the industry, they have enabled customers across multiple verticals to transform their current capabilities, improve efficiencies and enabled alternative revenues now and in the future. The company was presented with this award at an event earlier in the month.

“We are honored to be recognized among our peers with this award,” commented Bryan Lubel, president of Integron. “IoT deployments can be very challenging, but we have always strived for excellence within the managed services function. Our strategy is built upon developing strong ecosystem partnerships and joining that with deep expertise within particular verticals. Those two values combined has enabled us to become a true intersection for the IoT space.”

About Integron
Integron is an Internet of Things (IoT) Managed Services company that serves the connected health, telehealth, life sciences and remote patient monitoring sectors of the healthcare industry. Integron manages the complexities of enterprise IoT solutions by offering a comprehensive set of services, technology, and strong vendor relationships across the entire IoT landscape. Our managed IoT services include wireless connectivity, provisioning, mobile device management, support, and security. To learn more, visit http://www.integron.com.

About Questex
Questex is a leading global business information and events company serving corporate and government clients, and industries that are driving economic growth and business innovation around the world. The company drives business investment, innovation, and demand-creation in the markets it serves by bringing together investors, buyers, sellers, and professionals through its over 100 trade shows, conferences, and other business events. Questex is headquartered in Newton, Massachusetts. For more information, visit www.questex.com.

Are you prepared for the 2G/3G sunsets? What to know about their replacements

Blog, Solutions

"Part 1 of 2"

It’s a well-documented phenomenon: legacy cellular networks are put to rest to make way for network technologies that make more efficient use of spectrum. Spectrum is a limited resource that comes at a steep price – often commanding billions of dollars for the right to use certain frequencies. Rather than continually purchasing more of a limited resource, cellular carriers around the world have to make difficult decisions on what to do with the use of their existing spectral holdings. In many cases, this ends up being a decision to move from legacy network technologies, like 2G and 3G, and into more spectrally efficient technologies like LTE.

This evolution into newer technologies can pose quite a headache, especially for those that have built IoT solutions and strategies around some of these “legacy networks”. IoT has brought a new dimension of complexity to this issue. Unlike the consumer handset market, it’s obviously unrealistic to ask your deployed devices to get up and walk into the nearest carrier shop and swap out a radio module. Asking a team of technicians is of course an option, but it is an option that can be quite costly. And in the business of IoT, margins can already be quite slender to begin with.

Spectrum is a limited resource that comes at a steep price – often commanding billions of dollars for the right to use certain frequencies.

So, for those with existing 2G and 3G IoT deployments, there are some tough decisions to be made. The bright side of this situation is that there are plenty of options moving forward.

First though, what to do with those sunsetting devices?

A great first step would be to talk to an IoT managed services provider that understands what it will take to replace any affected deployed devices. Managed services providers have the expertise to bring a wide variety of perspectives and vendors to the table and make complicated issues relatively simple. In some cases, it may make the most sense to swap wireless modules, and in others, it might make sense to design and deploy an entirely new solution.

The next step is understanding the network options that are available. With the rapid growth of IoT solutions, cellular carriers have worked closely with standards bodies like 3GPP to develop protocols that are suitable to the variety of use cases of IoT solutions. No longer is there a one-size-fits-all mentality to cellular connectivity for IoT. We will walk you through some of those options.

LTE-M (Machine-Type Communications)

LTE-M (M is abbreviated from “Machine-Type Communications”) is part of the 3GPP Release 13 that reduces complexity associated power consumption. This network technology is deployed as a software addition to existing LTE network infrastructure. Part of that software update allows for a “Power Savings Mode” that uniquely allows connections to remain idle without disconnecting from the network. It also sacrifices data speeds in favor of power saving abilities. The network continues to be deployed in various countries around the world. Within the USA, Verizon and AT&T have invested in the deployment of this network deployment.

NB-IoT (Narrow Band IoT)

Narrow-Band IoT, also defined within release 13, uses an ultra-narrow band 180 kHz channel of LTE. Unlike LTE-M, NB-IoT is a larger capital investment, requiring additional hardware to be installed at the tower level. Support for NB-IoT has grown significantly in the last year as the technical promise is significant. Battery life is expected to be 10+ years for many applications, and signal propagation figures to extend much wider than other wireless technologies – delivering broader coverage. NB-IoT does not support voice and data transmission speeds are estimated in the 150kbps range. Currently, this technology appears to be the most broadly invested-in low power, wide area network globally.

LTE Cat-1 (Category 1)

LTE categories are essentially segmented based upon peak speeds. Categories 4 and up can be thought of as high speed. Category 1 (Cat-1) defines the user equipment required for operation within that standard. Cat-1 device are capable of communicating over regular LTE networks, however, performance is throttled back to deliver benefits in other areas like power consumption and cost. Cat-1 devices are a great option for those looking for a few months of battery life and a lower cost device/module. This network, as previously stated is deployed already in most parts of the developed world.

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Contact Integron to learn more about what you can do to stay ahead of network evolutions.

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2018: The Year It All Came Together For Connected Healthcare

Blog, Solutions

"The Turning Point"

451 Research predicts that 2018 will be remembered as the year when everything came together for connected healthcare.

Although remote monitoring and telemedicine have been used to augment healthcare for years, a coalescence of technological improvements, increased patient awareness, clinical provider and payer business model changes, and regulator support have set the stage for rapidly increased usage of the two to forge a connected healthcare, across a range of applications, to begin in 2019. Read More

Future Pharma

September 26, 2018 - September 28, 2018
Events

Connecting Marketing and Sales in the Digital Era