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Wearable devices at the heart of patient-centric care - Waikato DHB

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

It’s a new era for monitoring patient vital signs at Waikato Hospital with the introduction of a new telemetry device which allows real-time monitoring on the go.

Telemetry patient monitors have been used in the clinical setting for many years, however technology has progressed. Waikato DHB has introduced 30 new Mindray TM-80 devices from Connected Healthcare, which are about the size of a smartphone, weigh just 210g, and are waterproof and durable.

The WiFi-capable device displays heartrate, oxygen saturation and ECG waveforms in real-time on an LCD touchscreen.

"The telemetry of old was a plain grey box attached to the patient providing visibility of their vital signs from a central station only," says Waikato Hospital Nurse Director Colleen Vandy.

She says while the old equipment has done a great job, the difference in approach is like going from "a flip-phone to an iPhone".

Ms Vandy says the new devices support patients to be mobile and also provide better work practices for the clinician because they can see the patient and their vitals in the same space, and not necessarily just by their bed.

The WiFi capability also ensures each piece of equipment can be tracked wherever users go throughout the hospital.

"So if the patient goes to the cafeteria, you can see where they are."

Charge Nurse Manager Bridget Killion believes the devices will streamline workflows.

"Nurses and doctors at the patient’s bedside will be able to view what’s actually happening on the device, rather than having to ring up the Coronary Care Unit to access data," she says.

It could also paint a more accurate picture of the patient’s wellbeing. Patient symptoms may not come on while they’re in bed, so allowing them to go about their usual daily activities, like having a shower, means clinicians can see what’s going on, providing a greater understanding of any underlying health issues.

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