Technology transforms virtually all industries, but healthcare is one of the areas where developments have progressed at an astonishing rate. While adopting new devices, tools and software can be a significant administrative burden on the hospital, they can also provide invaluable resources for full patient care. Modern medical facilities are always looking for ways to increase the safety of their patients while providing more effective services.
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Disinfecting Light Bulbs
Many people are wary about the risk of contracting a “super bug” or other disease when they visit a hospital. While conventional disinfecting methods are effective against a large percentage of germs, medical facilities could always use additional measures to fight the growth of pathogens on exposed surfaces. Recent developments in specialized lighting has allowed some hospitals to add germ-fighting light fixtures to their wards. The bulbs emit ultraviolet light on a narrow spectrum to deactivate certain types of bacteria. Clinical trials have shown that this technology can significantly reduce the presence of harmful bacteria in the local environment.
Moving patients onto or off of an operating table has generally been the responsibility of nurses and other assistants present at an operation. Heavy lifting is a common occupational hazard for nurses and is one of the most common ways they are injured in the workplace. The introduction of specialized robots into hospitals literally lighten the load for nurses working there. Robots are limited to lifting patients either, they can also be used to transport equipment and other supplies throughout the hospital. This frees up staff time to focus on providing better patient monitoring and care.
Rather than rushing from room to room to check on machines next to each patient, doctors and nurses can now monitor live information on dozens of individuals from a remote location. Proactive patient care systems connect sensors with terminals in a central location, which allow medical staff to keep an eye on it at all times. Modern systems can convey information regarding vital signs, as well as other pieces of key information. Some medical facilities have also embraced new patient engagement solutions that allow for faster and more fluid communication between patients and medical personnel. This kind of integrated system also gives patients access to reliable, personalized information, including educational videos about their condition and description of treatment procedures.
Not all headaches can be dispelled by taking a few pills, especially the notoriously painful cluster headaches and migraines. Fortunately for those suffering from some types of chronic pain, there may be a way to seek reliable relief in the form of a small implant. These devices are inserted near the effected nerves so the tip touches the appropriate tissue. When the patient feels sensations indicating the onset of a headache, they can use a remote control to activate the implant. This causes the device to emit a signal that stimulates the nerves and mitigates the pain signals sent to the brain.
Logistical Tracking Systems
While hospitals have many interesting gadgets that help patients in tangible and obvious ways, there are also a few bits of technology that offer a great deal of benefit behind the scenes. Logistical tracking software has become an important tool for large medical facilities, as it allows for instant coordination and communication between various departments within the organization. Automated tracking makes it easier for different departments to keep track of available beds and supplies with high accuracy, leading to better service for patients. It also cuts down on friction and miscommunication between departments, as the automated system takes care of updating all parties with current logistical information.
The rate of recent developments in the medical field leave no question that adoption and utilization of new technology is going to be a key challenge for hospitals in the years ahead. In addition to specialized solutions that are tailored to address specific medical conditions, new technology also creates opportunities for facilities to increase their overall efficiency and capacity.
By Kara Masterson