In this MEDICA-tradefair.com interview, Steffen Geyer explains how a bed sensor system relieves hospital personnel of the time-consuming search for a suitable hospital bed and reveals why hospital digitization must be geared towards creating added value for staff.
Mr. Geyer, the Sana Klinikum in Duisburg, Germany, is testing a bed sensor system. What is the role of simplinic in this setting?
Steffen Geyer: We integrate the sensor technology. The German hospital bed specialist Stiegelmeyer provides the hospital beds that are equipped with sensors, which our company is preparing for the Internet of Things. We integrate the sensors in our system and collect their data: the embedded sensor indicates whether a bed is occupied or not.
How does the sensor technology work?
Geyer: The sensors measure body pressure - and send a signal via Bluetooth when a patient lies down on the bed. Nursing homes traditionally use the out-of-bed system to detect falls. However, we use this function to obtain information on the occupancy status and location of each hospital bed. Our infrastructure receives this signal, collects the sensor’s information which our software has linked to a bed, and automatically sets the status of the bed to indicate “occupied". This would be a manual process with conventional software.
How do the sensors ease the burden on healthcare personnel?
Geyer: For starters, they eliminate the manual process: the team no longer must block the bed in the system because this is now a fully automated process. This creates positive side effects, for example, when staff looks for available hospital beds.
Car sharing is a great way to illustrate the search for available beds: in car sharing, the driver does not look for a specific car, but searches for any available vehicle that is fully fueled and ready. The bed search process works the same way: The occupancy data enables us to block the occupied beds, which means they will no longer show up in the search query. Healthcare personnel subsequently only sees available beds, knowing that the search result is one hundred percent accurate.
The automatically collected data also provides full transparency for the entire hospital: The staff can always rely on the automated system - unlike a manual system, which is only as good as the people who input the data.