A Scottish hospital is trialling the use of an Internet of Things (IoT) system, which monitors medical beds and improves access to maintenance data.
Medical beds have a number of hydraulic and mechanical components that require regular maintenance checks to ensure they are operating efficiently, and will not compromise patient safety or comfort.
NHS Highland’s Caithness General Hospital, based in Wick, Scotland, has 68 medical beds, which require checks on a monthly basis. Up until now these have been carried out and recorded manually, administrative work which has been time-consuming for staff.
Now, the hospital hopes that the new system can help to remove the administrative burden from its employees.
Smart building and sensor startup has teamed with the Scottish Innovation Centre for Sensor and Imaging Systems to create the technology for the system.
It uses Bluetooth-compatible tags that transfer data in real time from beds using a low-power, wide area network (LPWAN). The data, which includes the location of the beds and their maintenance records, can be accessed through a central dashboard.
Head of estates at NHS Highland, Eric Green, suggested that if the trial was successful, it could help to improve processes throughout the NHS. “It’s now more important than ever for the NHS to increase productivity and identify where it can make changes to enhance efficiency. Beringar’s technology has allowed us to obtain immediate information on where our hospital beds are located,” he said.
“The Bluetooth tags and dashboard make it easy to find the bed we’re looking for and access up-to date maintenance records, enabling us to make smarter, more informed decisions,” he added.
Internet of Business says
New technology is being deployed by many hospitals to improve medical beds. Some are using sensors to alert nurses when patients are attempting to get up, and also to record their movement.
In particular, data on patients’ activity can be analysed by doctors and other carers to look for patterns linked to medical conditions, or increased risk of falls. Other capabilities include adjusting the pressure and support mechanisms within a bed to meet individual patient needs.
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