No one likes hospitals. Being a patient is never fun, nurses and doctors face constant stress, and family and friends experience frustration trying to gather information about their loved ones. Despite all of this, we deal with hospitals and the waiting and frustration because we have to in order to live. But, it doesn’t have to be like this.
With improvements in AI and cloud computing software, we hear a lot about “smart” technologies; smart phones, smart homes, smart cars, and even smart cities. So, why not smart hospitals as well? Some of the medical technologies that exist today are truly amazing, and I fortunately had the opportunity to learn about many of the up and coming innovations in this industry at Medical Taiwan, Taiwan’s only medical B2B trade show, covering the entire medical and senior healthcare industry. From artificial legs to help people with paralysis walk to fiber optic physiological monitoring technologies in clothing and baby mats to portable desktop sterilization devices, more and more advancements are being made to make the lives of doctors, nurses, patients and family members easier. Now, the medical industry is not really my forte and just the thought of blood makes me squeamish, but I was thoroughly astonished by all of the fascinating inventions at this convention.
According to a report by Market Research Engine, the smart hospital market is projected to grow to more than $63 billion USD over the next 5 years, driven primarily by advancements in machine learning and AI, cloud computing services, and radio-frequency identification. However, despite incredible innovations and the large potential of the market, many hospitals and physicians are reluctant to adopt new technologies. Often times, medical technologies can be expensive and physicians may feel like getting information from a tablet is impersonal and actually slows them down more than it is helpful. When lives are stake and you work in such a fast-paced environment, the reluctance to adopt new technology is understandable unless the product is undeniably useful for everyone involved.
VIA’s Smart Patient Rooms
VIA acknowledges the challenges that come along with the smart hospital industry, but with a long history of technological leadership and innovation, VIA is a company with the experience and understanding to penetrate this market. We have created a solution aimed at improving communication between hospital staff and patients, as well as enhance the overall patient experience.
As displayed at Medical Taiwan, in partnership with one of the largest medical centers in all of Taiwan, our solution comes in the form of a Smart Hospital Tablet, easily accessible right next to the patient’s bed. This tablet provides a variety of services to the patient as well as the hospital staff, such as a communication center with nurses, bedside diagnosis information, remote control access of the in-room facilities, along with entertainment platforms such as music streaming or video games. While all of these individual features have benefits, it is also important to acknowledge the benefits and efficiency that come along with condensing numerous services into one tablet.
Smart Hospital Tablets
Rather than nurses having to run all over the hospital when emergency buttons are pushed, the Smart Hospital Tablet can be used for a phone call or video chat for nurses to be able to assess the situation and offer verbal advice remotely, before deciding whether or not they need to take action and go to the patient’s room. This increases efficiency for nurses and helps reduce stress of both the staff and the patients, as communication is quicker and easier.
Not only is communication between nurses and patients enhanced, but with digital patient records, rather than paper copies, medical information can be shared more efficiently among the hospital staff. To ensure security, VIA implements NFC functionalities, so that patient privacy is respected and only the appropriate approved staff access medical data.
Being stuck in a hospital bed is usually quite uncomfortable and stressful. The last two times I’ve been in the emergency room alone, I’ve cried and called my mom because I was so irritated and unhappy that the doctors were not telling me anything. That’s why, along with making the jobs of hospital staff easier, VIA also aims to enhance the patient experience with our Smart Hospital Tablets. Patients, and the family and friends of patients, can have easier access to medical records and diagnoses through the tablet, helping to avoiding sometimes frustrating slow communication with doctors.
Furthermore, these smart hospital tablets are designed similar to remotes for smart homes, allowing patients to control different in-room facilities, such as opening and closing the curtains for privacy without having to get up. This tablet also could control the bed, the air conditioning, the television, and the lights, all from one centralized device. This makes the lives of the patients easier and reduces the amount of calls to nurses who often have to aid patients in these activities when they are unable to get out of bed themselves.
Additionally, like any smartphone or tablet, our devices will have internet access, music and video streaming, games, and more, to help entertain and distract patients from their uncomfortable conditions.
As this device is not hugely disruptive to the way hospitals currently operate, and provides benefits to both staff and patients, it has the potential to succeed in the Smart Hospital industry. I know I would have been a much happier person with access to such a device when I was in the hospital, and hope to see this technology be implemented around the world. Contact us for more information.
Written by Bria Rosenberg, Intern at VIA Technologies, Inc.