Everyone knows hospitals as sterile places that often smell of industrial cleaners but, still and all, about 100.000 people die each year in the U.S. because of hospital-borne infections according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A lot of these infections occur because doctors, nurses, and technicians don’t wash well enough.
To solve this problem, a startup called IntelligentM has developed a bracelet that vibrates when the wearer has scrubbed his hands sufficiently. The wristband reads RFID tags on hand-washing and sanitizing stations. An accelerometer can detect how long an employee spends washing; the wristband buzzes once if it’s done correctly and three times if it’s not. Because RFID tags are also placed outside patients’ rooms and on some equipment, the system alerts healthcare workers to clean their hands before doing a procedure that carries a high infection risk, such as inserting a catheter. Here is the full video explaining how it works:
(More info: Technology Review)
How to reduce medical errors is a vexing issue for providers, healthcare professionals, oversight groups, and especially patients. Each hospital has its own system. Parallax Enterprises LLC, a health IT startup based near Baltimore, Maryland, has adapted the pilot checklist approach to operating room to create a standardized system for tracking medical practices and reduce errors.
The system is a heads up display that mimics what a fighter pilot sees on the canopy of a plane. The unit is mounted underneath the bed and an arm equipped with a laptop-size screen and a camera comes around the patient’s head. The heads up display uses gesture technology so that the surgeon can work through the checklist while remaining sterile. The same checklist is displayed on a large screen for everyone in the room to track. The patient can also be part of the experience through a web site to collect medical information before and after surgery. Parallax is planning for an end-of-summer beta launch with at least one Baltimore hospital.
(More info: Med City News)
At the D11 conference hold last May in California, Motorola presented a swallowable electronic device: a pill from Proteus Digital Health company that you can ingest and it is switched on by the acid in our stomach. Then it creates an 18-bit ECG-like signal in your body that can be picked up by devices making our entire person an “authentication token.” The pill has already FDA’s approval and it is manufactured for medical purposes.