Published by: Albert Gibosse – Global Initiative to Fix Healthcare Delivery | WEBSITE |
Many healthcare facilities, namely Boston Medical Center, have tapped into IoT for innovative approaches to patient care and building operations.
Although many IoT deployments focus on typical [simple] operations like camera monitoring, refrigeration and heating, there has been a radical shift to wider IoT adoption at Boston Medical Center, where everything from medical to food are reaping the benefits of the Internet of Things in healthcare.
Sensors in healthcare IoT
Sensors are used for security purposes as well as monitoring. Connected wristbands are attached to newborn babies, allowing a wireless network to locate them at any time that stop elevators, lock exit doors, when ever the babies are taken to certain parts of the hospital. Nurses in the neonatal intensive care unit receive critical alerts about their patients’ medical conditions, including heart rate and oxygen changes on hospital cell that sensors have detected, and that allow them to get to patients’ bedsides more quickly.
Likewise, benefits of Internet of Things in healthcare go beyond medical applications at boston medical center. To support its sustainability efforts, the hospital uses a biodigester that is monitored with IoT technology and that composts food scraps from the kitchen. This machine ensures the proper functioning of the the digester to measure the amount of waste is running through it, and to determine whether enough water is being used.
IoT has enabled BMC to automate the charting and documenting the temperatures and to have wireless alerts that help staff and save time, and help ensure that blood samples, medications and other materials are kept at the proper temperatures.
Boston Medical Center
The Internet of Things in healthcare has enabled BMC to update electronic medical records faster, place order for EKGs that are automatically transmitted to the archive system where staff members can remotely view it and even compare it to previous EKGs — a great departure from the time when cardiologists were provided with paper file. With all the devices that make up an IoT infrastructure, IT has to take the following into consideration: floors and levels, distance, as well as potential interference from objects like elevators and microwave ovens.
Moreover, other considerations must include areas like the lead-lined walls of radiology labs that doesn’t allow penetration of wireless signals, and avoiding placing access points into patient rooms — since they would disturb patients when they need to be repaired. Hallways are more convenient locations. Access points are best installed in the hallway, as it will extend coverage all the way to a patient’s window where nurses need them to use wireless devices to enter information.
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