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EBME EXPO


EBME Expo 2019: The future of healthcare


Celebrating its 10th anniversary, the theme for this year’s EBME (Electronic and biomedical engineering) conference and exhibition was how the latest healthcare technology can improve patient outcomes. Over two days, a broad range of speakers shared fascinating insight into the future of healthcare.


The EBME Expo is an independent educational event bringing together healthcare professionals that are responsible for the management of medical equipment. These medical equipment healthcare professionals are involved in areas such as procurement, maintenance, user training, and managing inventories. Taking place at the Milton Keynes Stadium MK Arena on 3 and 4 April 2019, the event, now in its 10th year, attracted more than 530 delegates and 100 exhibitors. Dr John Sandham, EBME chair, welcomed visitors and introduced the first speaker, Mike Hilditch, managing director of The Hilditch Group and chairman of the Trustees of The Amalthea Trust. Mike described his involvement with the charity as, “The volunteering experience of a lifetime,” and explained how it aimed to carry out the best ways of helping healthcare development in low income countries. Working at Kyambogo University, Uganda, it was apparent to the charity that while there was not necessarily a shortage of medical equipment in hospitals, there was a huge shortage of trained technicians to maintain the equipment.


Hospital equipment is donated and newly trained technicians advised on the management of equipment. Mike said: “While the common misconception that AIDS is the main issue, trauma is actually the biggest problem in sub-Sahara Africa – and treatment is substandard.” The Amalthea Trust partners existing technical colleges and, with the assistance of a band of intrepid NHS Medical Engineer volunteers, offers practical medical equipment training to a range of students. To date, the charity has trained more than 80 medical engineering technicians in Uganda and provided Train the Trainer courses in Ethiopia. Following the Trust’s update, Andrew


Frost, director of technical services at MTS Health, shared his insight into new


Questioning whether theatre integration will become the standard for all theatres, Andrew highlighted an increase in the use of surgical cameras outside of the traditional area, noting: “New technologies are driving an increase in data and images being captured. PACS, EPR and VNA solutions are also maturing, therefore improving data management. Thus, I believe integration migrating from specialist theatres and endoscopy might become the standard for every theatre.”


Andrew described the building blocks of an integrated theatre and how the Cloud is becoming a virtual IT department where users can access all the data. “A growing requirement with this technology,” he observed, “is the need to work closely together.”


efficiencies within operating theatre integration. In his role, Andrew is responsible for leading, equipping and technical consulting for a variety of new build and operational consulting projects. His experience encompasses education and training, equipment management and equipping consulting within healthcare design and build projects, with a specific interest in critical care and theatre design – including the impact of technology on clinical workflow. As technical director, he also has interests in strategic asset management and procurement, and supports projects from the initial business case stage through to procurement, commissioning and ongoing equipment management. “Theatre integration offers opportunities


in Trusts and affects a number of areas – so technical solutions in one area of the hospital may be unknowingly suitable for another. From an operating theatres perspective, it is a key driver towards minimally invasive surgery and increases the use of third party devices, such as the Da Vinci robot or surgical mapping.”


18 I WWW.CLINICALSERVICESJOURNAL.COM


Using a theatre installation at a UK Trust as an example, Andrew explained the importance of future proofing as 4K comes to endoscopy: “It won’t be long for this to occur and I would suggest opting for a fibre-based system. The key driver for this installation was having the ability to repeat the output from a patient monitor to a display on the wall. In total there are five theatres, one hybrid theatre, one hybrid cath lab and one cath lab theatre.” Using software to improve the


effectiveness of patient safety was the focus of Philip Hodsman, BSc, European business development manager for the ECRI Institute. With a background in industrial chemistry and international trade, Philip had nine years of experience in medical device sales prior to joining ECRI in 2013. The ECRI Institute is a specialist in medical technology research, providing impartial advice on the planning, evaluation, procurement, management and safety of medical technologies. Philip, who is a specialist in utilising ECRI Institute’s information to optimise the safety, management and procurement processes in healthcare technology decision making, opened his talk by describing types of


MAY 2019


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