Aeris Blog

Beginner’s Guide: M2M Modems and Modules for Remote Patient Monitoring

October 06, 2014

iStock_000001925982_MediumAs wireless networks and products become an increasingly large part of our everyday lives, cellular machine-to-machine (M2M) technology is replacing PSTN lines as the choice of connecting the remote patient monitoring devices at patient homes.

Cellular M2M communications enable the transmission of data from in-home patient monitoring devices for monitoring of a variety of conditions, like sleep apnea, cardiac arrhythmia, COPD, and diabetes. To use cellular M2M technology, the in-home patient monitoring devices need to either have an embedded M2M communication module or be connected to an external M2M modem.

There are pros and cons to choosing internal embedded modules vs. an external stand-alone model. With external modems, the time to market is almost immediate, as the device is pre-certified for any regulatory requirements and has already been proven in the field.

However, the solution may not be as elegant as a compact module that’s completely embedded inside the monitoring device, which does not take any extra space. Also, the external modem solution tends to be more expensive than the embedded module based solution, especially if you’re forecasting large volumes over a 3-year period.

Building a solution with an embedded module could take as long as 18 months, including getting all the necessary certifications completed. So, there is no one simple answer to which way to go for your device. To help you with this difficult decision, here are a few pointers on the popular modems and modules that are available in the market and that have already been certified on the Aeris network.

Some of the major players in the M2M modem and module space are Sierra Wireless, Ublox, Franklin Wireless, Cinterion, Telit, Huawei, Option and Multi-Tech. Many of these vendors offer both modules and modem-based solutions.

If you’re looking for a GSM solution, please make sure that the option you’re considering has already gone through PTCRB and FCC certifications. In the case of CDMA solutions, the PTCRB certification is not required, but there may be a carrier-level certification requirement.

Lastly, the choice of M2M service provider is a critical decision. While MNOs and MVNOs offer M2M services, Aeris has a very unique value proposition for customers. Many of the modules and modems from the vendors mentioned above are already pre-certified to work on the Aeris network. So, there is no additional work that needs to be done to take your product to market fast. Also, unlike the big MNOs, we can perform device certifications in a relatively short period of time to meet your aggressive launch schedules.

Aeris is a pioneer and leader in M2M technology, offering connectivity support for a variety of networks, including GSM and CDMA. It owns and operates the only cellular network designed exclusively for machines and has been a leader and pioneer, shaping and driving industry innovation and standards in M2M communications.

With industry-leading machine-to-machine cellular communications, Aeris offers the most reliable and flexible CDMA and GSM M2M solutions available today for healthcare providers. As an operator and a technology provider, Aeris can deliver end-to-end M2M solutions for even the most demanding customers. No matter how large or small the deployment, Aeris guarantees the industry’s best customer service, highest reliability and lowest total cost of ownership.

When considering an M2M solution, there are several key factors that you should take into account, including network reliability, redundancy of data centers, cost, support and of course, type of connectivity and technology.

If you’re interested in implementing M2M, download our white paper to discover which technologies and connectivity options are right for you. Looking to learn more about how the benefits of M2M and cellular connectivity for your healthcare organization? Explore our resource library.


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