software supporting patient safety and medical device maintenance. These include: computerised maintenance management systems (CMMS) and inventory management; medical device IPM procedures and benchmarking guidance; medical device alerts and recalls management; and medical device evaluations. Philip explained: “The benefits of CMMS are knowing which assets you have and how they are maintained. Reducing time and cost in locating or managing/maintenance equipment and optimising their replacement strategies benefit safety both directly and indirectly. In safety and maintenance, CMMS can save time and resources that can be redirected to lowering risk. Safety can also be improved because devices can be recalled more rapidly, and it enables better evidence based maintenance scheduling. The systems are Cloud based and can utilise portable devices, such as phones and tablets – and looking forward, they could possibly be enhanced by augmented reality.” The ECRI Institute provides a free resource called the Top Ten Health Technology Hazards, which shares information and advice on ransomware and other cybersecurity threats. According to Philip, ransomwear is currently the number one threat and he asserted the importance of reviewing and comparing IPM procedures to ensure they include cybersecurity processes. “It’s also vital to benchmark the PM time taken, frequency and cost and to consider guidance on spending more time on impacting higher risks.”

General wards technologies

The mid-morning session focused on general wards technologies, commencing with Dr Scott Brown, who has worked in the healthcare sector for 28 years and is a registered clinical scientist with Health and Care Professionals Council (HCPC). Dr Brown focused on patient monitoring and discussed plans to develop an integrated hospital. He observed: “Back in the day we had little in the way of monitoring in theatres, now there are many requirements for anaesthesia – such as a pulse oximeter, NIBP, ECG, airway pressure and temperature, to name but a few. The key to all of these parameters is data and the conduit is connectivity, from hospital administration to clinical imaging, medical notes and laboratory results. Thanks to integration, these can all be seen on one screen. However, we need a protocol to

provide a framework of information to link throughout hospital systems.” Dr Brown discussed HL7 (Health Level Seven International). Founded in 1987, HL7 is a not-for-profit, ANSI-accredited standards developing organisation dedicated to providing a comprehensive framework and related standards for the exchange, integration, sharing, and retrieval of electronic health information to support clinical practice and the management, delivery and evaluation of health services. He added: “It’s not only about data available to clinicians, there are also different levels – this data is even available to the public. Pooling that data we can study disease and healthcare provision.” Dr Brown highlighted a project to adopt new technology as part of a strategic Trust- wide replacement programme for patient monitoring. “The project took place across three hospital sites, including 22 operating theatres, two cardiac catheter labs, and an urgent care department. “The stakeholders include clinical

departments, IT, clinical technology and finance. This is our first interaction with the IT department and it demonstrates the importance of stakeholder engagement. We can ask what systems we want to exchange and who we want to share data with - and this engagement enables us to securely track devices throughout the hospital. “Ultimately, the goal is to have complete integrated connectivity and data collection,

Ultimately, the goal is to have complete integrated connectivity and data collection, to the extent that this will establish a new role in

the future – a clinical IT consultant. Dr Scott Brown

MAY 2019

to the extent that this will establish a new role in the future – a clinical IT consultant.”

Remote cardiac monitoring

Steve MacAleese, head of sales at Qardio Europe, has 30 years of experience in selling to the NHS and health authorities across EMEA. In 2018 he launched the QardioCore wireless wearable ECG monitor, which aims to improve the ECG Holter procedure by increasing patient comfort, reducing costs and streaming live data from the patient to the care provider.

Discussing remote cardiac monitoring, Steve provided shocking figures about atrial fibrillation (AF) and stroke. “Every year, around 1.3 million people are diagnosed with AF in the UK,” he said. “The cost to the NHS is £3 billion, so how do we address that?” Steve demonstrated QardioCore, the world’s first ECG monitor designed to provide continuous medical grade data for people with increased health risk caused by family predisposition, history of heart attacks or strokes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and excess weight. The wireless continuous device is a wearable ECG monitor, designed to improve detection and monitoring of cardiac conditions. Free of wires and patches, the system is designed to provide users with maximum comfort and medical accuracy. “It’s a potential alternative to an implantable device,” he explained, “and, because it is Cloud-based, provides constant monitoring of patients.” Following the demonstration, the speakers took part in an open debate to discuss future trends. Chaired by EBME’s deputy chair, Dave Mulvey, the panel first asked what the profession’s role is in the midst of new technology. One delegate observed the importance of skills and asked whether

the future path should involve getting more engineers involved with IT – or vice versa.


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