Medical Device-as-a-Service (medical DaaS) is an emerging business model that allows consumers to access electronic devices and their associated software through a monthly subscription offered by the vendor. This model combines aspects of traditional device rental programs and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) models to offer healthcare providers a simpler alternative to both.
Healthcare providers often bring innovations like cloud-connected medical devices to their patients under the DaaS model. Devices offered through a DaaS business model come with pre-installed applications that are unique to their particular vendor.
Benefits of Medical DaaS
- Lower up-front costs. Medical DaaS eliminates the need for healthcare providers to make a large initial cash outlay when introducing new medical devices into their practice. Instead, it breaks the cost of a fleet of devices and its associated services into smaller monthly installments. This makes costs predictable and much easier to fit into a budget, alleviating many of the cash flow issues that would otherwise impede device adoption.
- Access to the latest technology. Medical technology is continually advancing, but few healthcare providers have the resources to continually upgrade their device fleet and infrastructure to accommodate new sets of devices. Medical DaaS subscriptions allow near-instant access to cutting-edge technologies, and existing subscriptions can usually be upgraded to include newer device models with little hassle.
- Full scalability. Expanding medical device programs under the ownership model is extremely expensive and time-consuming. Medical DaaS makes adding new devices to programs as easy as upgrading their associated subscription.
- Fewer IT headaches. From service outages to data breaches, using connected medical devices comes with many potential IT problems that healthcare providers must account for. The DaaS model shifts all of these considerations onto the service provider instead, allowing healthcare providers to enjoy reliable high-performance access with 24/7 emergency response coverage.
- Stronger security measures. HIPAA-compliant cybersecurity is part of the package included with a typical DaaS contract. Healthcare providers using DaaS solutions do not have to create or maintain their own security infrastructure, and depending on the nature of the vendor's provisions, they may even be immune to some forms of liability in the event of a breach.
Drawbacks of Medical DaaS
- Higher ongoing costs. DaaS subscribers trade high up-front costs for higher monthly expenses, and unlike in a traditional ownership model, those costs never decrease. Over time, they will eventually overtake the cost of device ownership.
- BYOD conflicts. Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) programs are common in many healthcare settings and allow users to choose the devices they feel most comfortable with. DaaS requires all users to use the devices they are issued by the service provider, eliminating the option to use any other equipment.