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What you should know about IoT Testing in Healthcare

Healthcare is one of the many industries to experience IoT’s dynamic influences. The interconnected technological ecosystem facilitated by the Internet of Things (IoT) contributes to managing several bottlenecks and streamlining the medical care service.

IoT has further proved its merits in ensuring service continuity and driving value during the pandemic. A report by MarketsandMarkets anticipates growth of the IoT healthcare market size from $72.5 billion in 2020 to $188.2 billion in 2025.  

Due to the immense potential and extensive usage of IoT in healthcare, consistent testing and improving operational efficiency have also increased. This blog will explore various aspects of IoT testing in healthcare.

Challenges in IoT Testing

Here, we outline a few challenges usually faced by testers when performing Internet of Things testing. In the next section, we will discuss an effective approach to overcome these challenges.

  • A Wide Array of Hardware and Software

The architecture of IoT comprises various hardware and software components. Therefore, the testers need to pay attention to both types of components - from sensors to the environment, communication gateways to data transfer. It requires an exhaustive activity.

  • Device Interaction

It’s important that different sets of hardware and software are able to interact with each other. To streamline the entire process, the testing team needs to focus on backward compatibility, security, and upgrade issues, among others.  

  • Network Availability

Since IoT is all about data communication, a network connection is a crucial element here. An IoT architecture must be tested at multiple network speeds. To execute this, virtual network simulators are widely used to vary network stability, load, and connectivity. However, a real-time network is always challenging, and the testing team may become apprehensive of the bottlenecks that may arise in the long run.

Types of IoT Testing in Healthcare

An effective testing approach ensures the robustness of a system. Below, we have listed the most crucial tests performed by any IoT testing company.

#1 Compatibility Testing

The testers check the software configuration of various healthcare IoT devices. For example, in the case of remote patient monitoring, data is collected from a patient at a specific location and reviewed at a different location. Compatibility testing checks the software components of both the devices and ensures that these can recognize incoming data and send it back and forth without any hassle. The testers check the data format and syntax compatibility to measure the ability of the software to exchange and apply information during lab testing and crowd testing practices.

#2 Usability Testing

Here, the testers check the user interface of a medical IoT device. For instance, a Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM) records the glucose levels of diabetes patients. Its display should be big and clear to showcase the results, date, and time of the test. In case of any error, the machine must notify them instantly.

#3 Security Testing

IoT testing and security focuses on threat assessment and identifying vulnerabilities in network and coding practices. The testers set up a strategic defense against hacking. For instance, to secure an infusion pump setup, the testers ensure that the entries on the pump are properly documented. They further check that each pump is connected to the network and protected by a strong password. It ensures that the wireless network authentication is secure.  

#4 Scalability Testing

The testers ensure that the software can adequately handle traffic growth or data volume. For instance, a healthcare system should be scalable enough to accommodate the data of the entire hospital and various departments. As a significant part of healthcare domain testing, scalability testing confirms that the system can work with a huge load of data.

#5 Performance Testing

The testers pay attention to ensuring an unaffected data transmission overcoming disruptions in the users’ internet connection. They take backup of the Protected Health Information (PHI) and erase it after sending it successfully. IoT testers initially test the process with one patch followed by multiple updates. It facilitates a smooth integration into the device operation. The healthcare devices are monitored ensuring that diverse protocols such as DSS, CoAP, HTPP, and MQTT, among others, are seamlessly communicating with servers.

#6 Upgrade Testing

The Internet of Things is a combination of multiple devices, operating systems, networking layers, firmware, hardware, and protocols. Therefore, a thorough regression testing needs to be strategized to overcome any upgrade-related issues.  

#7 Regulatory Testing

A healthcare system must pass through multiple compliance checkpoints. Failing to adhere to the compliance checklist will produce an adverse impact even if the product passes through other testing steps. Therefore, it’s better to take the regulatory requirements into account at the beginning of the development and testing cycle.

Closing Thoughts

Testing IoT in healthcare demands a Test-As-A-User (TAAS) approach instead of a one-size-fits-all approach. The professional testing team pays attention to every element including operating systems, devices, hardware, firmware, protocols, and software to enhance the robustness of the system.

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Hemanth Kumar Yamjala has 10+ years of experience in IT Services, predominantly Marketing, Branding, specializing in Digital. Currently a part of the marketing for Cigniti Technologies with functions such as leveraging digital marketing channels for lead generation and promotion.

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Comments

  • Device Interaction: test if the device interacts with other devices (e.g. powerline interference). Besides, test on the impact of movement of bodyparts (heartbeat, lungs, movement of arms, legs, etc) which may disrupt your measurement.

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