Now more than ever, the need for healthcare to be highly responsive to ever shifting circumstances is vital. Medical ICT devices are the ticket to supporting healthcare staff with task efficiency, patient data protection and flexible monitoring solutions.
The continual development of devices and systems in healthcare ICT has seen this sector grow steadily in recent years, with the World Health Organisation recognising how digital technology is shaping the future of healthcare. This is particularly apparent during the current worldwide pandemic.
We’ve gathered the latest trends in healthcare ICT that are accelerating in 2021 for you to explore and consider for your healthcare facility.
Explore healthcare ICT trends across the following areas:
Trend 1: Santisation
While certainly not a new development in healthcare, sanitisation for patients, staff and literally every object in medical settings has taken on a much higher level of focus and importance since the onset of Covid-19. The pandemic has seen venues across the globe, in particular hospitals and medical centres, integrate new products, processes and systems to increase sanitisation in the hope of reducing the spread of germs and viruses.
Many new devices and products can be easily retrofitted across your hospital or medical facility to support your health centre’s sanitisation efforts, with some popular measures including:
Given that medical centre and hospital waiting rooms can be the host of many germs, which can easily be shared across patients and staff, it’s no surprise that air purifiers are increasing in popularity.
Improving the air quality in any space can greatly reduce the spread of disease by helping to eliminate viruses and bacteria. Air purifiers also remove volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and particles that can trigger asthmatic or allergic reactions, along with mold spores and general pollutants. By improving air flow, your facility will not only be healthier, but it will feel and smell fresh and clean and support the respiratory health of patients and staff. Cleaner air is also noted to support mental health.
A SensorPod is coupled with this device and is placed away from the air purifier to continually monitor air quality across the room and communicate readings back to the purifier. A colour-coded illuminated ring gives a clear indication of the air quality: good, moderate or poor, which then triggers the PureDirect technology fan speed to auto-adjust to optimise clean air delivery comfortably and effectively throughout the space.
Importantly, the TruSens Air Purifier also includes a 360 degree HEPA filter, which captures pollutants and VOC gases and odours and a built-in UV light does a swift job of killing germs and bacteria that can get trapped in the filter.
Ultraviolet (UV) sterilisation for infection control
Rapidly increasing in popularity are healthcare products that use UV light sterilisation for infection control. Ultraviolet disinfection attacks the DNA/RNA of a cell, rendering it unable to reproduce or spread.
Benefits of UV light sterilisation:
- It’s non toxic: unlike many harsh chemicals used in cleaning products, particularly those that are medical grade. The process is physical, as opposed to chemical.
- Kills pathogens without immunity: the use of some antimicrobial agents and disinfectants has led to antibiotic resistant bacteria. The benefit of the UV approach is that it is a physical method and bacteria cannot build an immunity to it.
- Highly effective: With pathogen kill rates of up to 99.99%, LED UV-C disinfection capabilities are without question a solid bet for healthcare settings.
The following products all use UV light sterilisation for infection control.
Adaptable to any keyboard tray set up, the Proximity UV-Clean ultraviolet light is mounted beneath the work surface and shines down on the keyboard. A small dose of UltraViolet-C light disinfects the keyboard surface by killing up to 99.9%* of microorganisms. This device:
- Destroys infectious pathogens within an effective 24 inch or 60.96cm area range
- Includes an automated no-touch self-disinfecting system
- Contains an independent low energy LED task light.
Product Spotlight: Proximity UV Cube
Any portable devices used within healthcare settings (mobile phones, tablets or handheld computers, for example) can be UV-C disinfected using this highly effective unit. With the Proximity UV Cube, you can place devices in the cube for a 3 minute cleaning cycle to eliminate 99.9% of pathogens on the high touch surface areas and provide a 360 degree clean up of your device. Convenient and easy to use, there are three cleaning cycle options with a visible countdown timer.
This UV-C disinfection unit has the capacity to simultaneously disinfect and charge four tablets or 10 mobile phones at the same time, while also performing mobile device management via a cloud-based portal. It’s the perfect multi purpose solution for any busy healthcare setting, such as hospital wards.
In addition to UV-C disinfection and smart charging, the ElectroClave UVC Sterilization unit also offers RFID tracking. RFID stands for ‘radio frequency identification’, where data encoded tags or smart labels are applied to devices and enable IT administration teams and healthcare workers to have an important overview of the movement of devices. The RFID tracking delivers critical information, such as which staff members have checked out specific devices.
Washable IT medical devices
Computer keyboards and mice are ideal breeding environments for germs and bacteria, so it’s not surprising that washable tech devices are accelerating as a healthcare ICT trend to support strict infection control. Here are some popular washable IT devices that are perfect for healthcare environments:
The Silver Seal silicone waterproof keyboard has been developed to help prevent the spread of infections, created with materials that contain an antimicrobial, fungistatic agent, which protects the keyboard to keep it cleaner by inhibiting the growth of bacteria, mold, mildew and fungi on it’s surfaces. The key printing is UV-reinforced to make it fade resistant and the overall product is 100% waterproof – it can even be disinfected with hospital grade bleach.
Other washable medical keyboard options include:
- Seal Shield – glow silicone keyboard
- Man and Machine D Cool silicone keyboard
- Man and Machine L Cool washable silicone keyboard
- Man and Machine it’s cool keyboard
Product Spotlight: Man and Machine C Mouse
Engineered with water tight internal compartments to keep all elements safe during washing and rinsing, this Man and Machine USB washable mouse has a 1000 dots per inch sensor, enabling you to work on almost any surface. Designed with ergonomics in mind, this medical mouse can be washed with any EPA approved disinfectant to support infection control in all healthcare settings.
Product options include wired and wireless and two sizes, the mighty mouse and petite, with all models having scrolling capabilities and the option to apply your healthcare facility logo and name if desired. Other medical mice options include:
- Seal Shield Waterproof Mouse
- Seal Shield Silver Storm Waterproof Mouse
- Man and Machine Mighty Waterproof Mouse
Trend 2: Remote health
Once viewed as a ‘nice to have’ in healthcare settings, remote telehealth equipment are now a crucial element in patient care. What used to require a face to face consultation in a clinical setting, can often take place with the assistance of telehealth and telemedicine equipment.
As with many healthcare ICT solutions, the current pandemic has pushed the rollout of remote health solutions to become more commonplace, so services can continue to operate seamlessly whether on site or remote. Offerings such as Telehealth bridge the gap for anyone in remote locations, or those unable to physically get to their healthcare provider, enabling real-time communication between medical professionals and patients. This increases accessibility for so many people who may otherwise not be able to connect with the health professionals they need.
Another reason to embrace remote health devices is that they provide opportunities for patients to be empowered as they proactively participate in the monitoring process of their own health. The following remote health products are the ones to watch.
This state-of-the-art device enables medical practitioners worldwide to confidently conduct patient examinations, monitoring and care for those unable to attend a face to face consultation. The ProEX Telehealth Hub has the option to connect multiple imaging and data sources via the inbuilt ports, making it a truly universal recording and retrieval system that can be used with almost any medical device.
Featuring high-quality live video and imaging functions, there’s also an optional HD camera that uses high-intensity white LED illumination and precision optics to consistently deliver quality patient data. A comprehensive range of interchangeable medical devices can be used to run a variety of examinations, including:
- General imaging
- Wound management
- Dental examinations
Medical professionals can connect to specialists and other colleagues anywhere in the world and exchange saved images and data using the integrated video conferencing software. They can also conduct a live video consultation with their patients. All content is encrypted and stored securely to ensure that this product meets the most stringent IT security checks.
Product Spotlight: Styleview Telepresence Cart
Combine the power of video conferencing with the benefits of a medical cart and you have this easy and affordable mobile telemedicine cart. The monitors on Ergotron’s Styleview Telepresence Cart are configured back-to-back to give separate viewing for the caregiver and patient, with the video or web camera mounted above the monitor, facing forward, so that it travels with the monitor through its entire range of motion.
The open framework of this telehealth workstation allows most standard computer and mobile communications equipment to be easily integrated and there’s plenty of room to fit all of your telehealth equipment. With a small footprint and ultra smooth gliding caster wheels, it travels easily across carpet or hard surfaces and works well in space limited areas – perfect for busy wards. The low operating cost is another key feature, with an autonomous rechargeable AC electrical source delivering safe, inexpensive and dependable power.
Trend 3: Data, Analysis and the Internet of Things (IoT)
The Internet of Things (IoT) is a network of physical objects that have sensors and other technologies which enable connection and data exchange with other systems and devices via the internet. Healthcare devices are currently at the forefront as one of the fastest growing sectors in this space, with it increasingly being referred to as the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT). The strongest example of the IoT in healthcare is remote patient monitoring, with devices collecting patient data, which then enables fast analysis at a higher accuracy.
Like many other industries and sectors, healthcare is largely data driven and health data analysis can provide powerful patient insights. In order for data to be useful in a healthcare setting, it is imperative that medical staff are provided with the most efficient and effective devices that give them access to the relevant patient and pharmaceutical information on the go.
Increasingly gaining in popularity, mobile computers are the future of healthcare. These hand held, pocket sized devices give medical staff the ability to transfer patient data gathered from any check in, assessment or procedure, back into the main system on the spot, which ensures all data is current, accurate and kept secure.
Many mobile devices also have a built-in scanner, which means one less device for staff to be carrying with them or searching for during busy shifts. If needed, the mobile device can be plugged into larger screens, keyboards and other compatible tech products, giving the ability to operate it like a full computer, but with the benefits and portability of a hand held device.
These user friendly devices increase task efficiency and easily adapt to any existing tech set up. This is where mobile computers in healthcare are ticking all the boxes.
Designed specifically for healthcare, this highly versatile mobile computer makes nursing and other patient care workflows more efficient, productive and generally easier. With a built-in imager, the Honeywell CT40 HC Mobile Computer can read 1 and 2D barcodes on patient wristbands, virals, syringes and IV bags and is made with healthcare grade materials to reduce cross-infection.
Other benefits of this popular product include:
- Battery life to cover a 12-hour shift
- Certified for highest level data security in its class
- Rugged build touch screen
- Ergonomic and lightweight
- Built in colour camera for image documentation.
Debetrek: Helping you stay ahead of healthcare ICT trends
Whether you’ve been thinking about incorporating one or more of these into your hospital or medical centre, or are ready to start upgrading your devices – the team at Debetrek can help you find the right combination of solutions for you. Get in touch with our expert team now so you can stay ahead of the healthcare ICT trends being accelerated by Covid.