Medical Devices Integration: Breaking through the barriers
Interoperability has become the highest single priority issue for NHS leaders, according to the findings of the 2018 NHS Leadership Survey. An overwhelming 82% of respondents said that interoperability that enabled systems and staff to share information on patients was their highest priority. Today most hospitals have a core patient information system but the fact still remains that an enormous amount of data is still not available at the point of care, at the right time for clinicians to make better informed decisions.
On average the majority of hospitals have more than 10 different medical devices, yet only a 1/3rd integrate with their core IT system, with only a handful of hospitals automating vital sign collection, and almost none integrated with their mobile e-observation systems. The situation is only going to accelerate with the development of new technology that collects even more patient data. Existing manual collection of this information is simply not sustainable, is very inefficient, potentially unsafe, and burdensome on an already overworked workforce. Technology has to be the game changer and simplify the daily lives of clinicians, IT and Biomedical Engineers.
In order to achieve the goals discussed earlier, they all need to work together to transform the way the collection of patient data is performed and then managed to improve patient outcomes, and break down the barriers between them. We will see how medical device integration through global interoperability will deliver connected medical equipment, and the real benefit behind: taking and sharing data more efficiently and accurately, making the daily job easier for frontline clinicians, and ultimately improving patient care and their care pathway.
More broadly speaking, tomorrow’s medicine will see connected medical devices on every level in healthcare facilities or at patients’ homes. It is time to act!