DiversityNursing Blog

The Future of Nursing Technology Is Exciting

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Tue, Jun 05, 2018 @ 10:27 AM

The Future Of Nursing Tech-120731-editedTechnology continues to revolutionize healthcare and we have entered an exciting new frontier of state-of-the-art gadgets and high-tech communication systems. Some of these changes are made possible by our growing ability to utilize big data to improve outcomes through the field of health informatics; others by awe-inspiring advancements in medical science, telecommunications, and even robotics.

Vein Finding Tool

what-is-a-vein-finderEchoNous Vein is designed for Nurses inserting peripheral IV catheters by providing an immediate and clear image of veins using just two-button controls. The easy-to-use device also includes optimized settings for use with adults and pediatrics.

“As it is often times the first interaction a patient has with care providers, a failed IV insertion not only holds up care from the beginning, but can impact a patient’s HCAHPS satisfaction survey. For both adults and pediatrics, our new vein finding tool was designed to help reduce ‘hard sticks’ and improve patient satisfaction,” said Kevin Goodwin, CEO of EchoNous. “Critical care Nurses understand the value of not only quickly locating a vein, but receiving reliable information about vessel quality, so we look forward to hearing their direct feedback how our vascular access tool does both, with the ease of a few on-screen touches.”

Stethee ‘smart’ stethoscope

The newly launched, FDA-cleared Stethee Pro features technology to capture and analyzeStethee heart and lung sounds and data via Bluetooth, operating around smartphone applications for both Apple iOS and Google Android devices.

“The Stethee system has the potential to transform healthcare. We are on the forefront of a new era in healthcare driven by artificial intelligence and its ability to significantly improve our ability to care for patients. This innovative technology can significantly help drive efficiency and productivity and empower healthcare providers worldwide by providing real time data and clinical interpretation" Dr. John Sperling of the Mayo Clinic said in a press release.

chip monitors blood sugar levels

105201127-Admetsys.530x298The company Admetsys has created a solution that can constantly monitor blood sugar levels in real time. Its artificial intelligence algorithm then triggers its software to either administer glucose or insulin via the drip that a patient is connected to. The drip is connected to a screen. The screen shows the metrics for the patient.

"It is a laboratory on a chip. This is what will be able to replace what is in the laboratory," Timothy Valk, co-founder of Admetsys, told CNBC.

"This device was suggested by Nurses. The Nurses' workload is astronomical. They need to be doing other things that are more appropriate for them, than running in and manually doing a glucose or drawing blood, their time is costly," Valk said.

patient monitoring system reducing fall rates

Hospitals are implementing the AvaSys TeleSitter video-observation system to improveavasys patient safety and lower staffing costs.

"The thing I was really skeptical about was, will this make a difference? But the [system] really does work in 99 percent of the cases. It's amazing when you see it in action" said Terry Olinger, President of the Hospitals and Clinics Acute Care Group at Benefis Health System.

The AvaSys room unit is offered in three options. A mobile cart, a portable wall-mounted unit or a permanent ceiling unit.  It lets a single monitor technician keep tabs via video on up to 12 patient rooms from a command center. The command center is located at Benefis in the patient flow center. The monitor tech can use the two-way audio to immediately intervene when a patient is at risk of self-harm, such as a fall. The monitor tech can talk to the patient to verbally redirect them. If the situation is emergent, the tech can activate an alarm and a Nurse will know to get there right away. Overall, AvaSys helps improve staffing efficiencies by allowing Nursing assistants to stay on the floor instead of watching patients 1:1.

Scheduling and staffing technology built for nurses, by nurses

Joe Novello is a Registered Nurse and wanted to create a scheduling solution specifically focused on the needs of his peers. So he founded NurseGrid in 2013.

With NurseGrid, Nurses are able to digitally “raise their hand” so hospital managers know they’re available for extra work, or they can signal that they’re not looking for shifts.

There are other companies in the Nurse scheduling space, including McKesson, Cerner Clairvia and GE Healthcare Centricity. Novello says the other products began as online software then moved to mobile, while NurseGrid was developed as a mobile app and has a better interface. His product also provides real-time shift changes, while other software is focused on time keeping and building schedules.

mobileThe future of Mobile Devices

Key findings from The Future of Healthcare: 2022 Hospital Vision Study

  • By 2020, usage of mobile devices is expected to grow by 40 percent for all hospital workers.
  • 98 percent of alarms or alerts from patient monitoring equipment, electronic health records (EHRs) and biomedical devices will be accessed through a mobile device by 2022.
  • In four years, 91 percent of Nurses could access EHR, medical and drug database references (92 percent), and lab diagnostic results (88 percent) using a mobile device.
  • The use of mobile technologies could reduce 46 percent of preventable medical errors and care issues caused by the breakdown of communication by 2022.
  • 77 percent of patients reported positive feelings toward clinicians using mobile devices in their care.
  • 95 percent of patients are willing to share electronic health metrics with clinicians.


3D printing

In medicine and healthcare, 3D printing could not only revolutionize drug creation and the production of medical equipment, but it could also offer new methods for practicing medicine, optimizing supply chains, and propose cheaper and more personalized medical services. So what are some good examples? Let's take a look.

Ian McHale, a senior at the US Steinert High School created a blueprint for producing finger splints.

Prosthetics and implants can be 3D printed. Dutch surgeons replaced the entire top of a 22 year–old woman’s skull with a customized printed implant made from plastic.

Scott Summit 3D printed a cast for himself, becoming perhaps the first patient ever to have acast3d shower with a cast on, but without a bunch of plastic bags wrapped around it. His physician could open and close the cast in seconds and it still held his wrist tightly. And it cost Scott around 50 dollars and a few hours to create.

A network of volunteers called the e-NABLING the Future project, share 3-D printing designs, video tutorials and other information about building prosthetic hands which enables volunteers, Doctors, Nurses or anyone in the field to make a difference by literally “giving a helping hand” to those in need.

Researchers at Harvard University were the first to use a custom–built 3D printer and a dissolving ink to create a swatch of tissue that contains skin cells interwoven with structural material that can potentially function as blood vessels in the future.

skinprintedJames Yoo at the Wake Forest School of Medicine in the US as well as researchers at the University of Madrid have developed the prototype of a 3D printer that can create synthetic skin. It is adequate for transplanting to patients, who suffered burn injuries or have other skin issues.

Organovo successfully bioprinted liver tissues already in 2014. They seemed to be 4-6 years away from printing liver parts for transplantation. Bioprinted livers could also be used in the pharmaceutical industry to replace animal models for analyzing the toxicity of new drugs. A few months ago, Organovo launched its second commercial product, bioprinted human kidney tissue. The company suggests that within a decade we will be able to print solid organs such as liver, heart, and kidney.

Last year, the FDA approved an epilepsy drug called Spritam that is made by 3D printers. Itprinted pills prints out the powdered drug layer by layer to make it dissolve faster than average pills.

The technological advancements happening in healthcare today are truly life changing for both providers and patients. Whether it's a 3D printer creating a model of a person's heart, or a chip monitoring a certain disease, there's no doubt the future of medicine is heading in an exciting direction. We look forward to hearing your thoughts and ideas on medical advancements.

Topics: new technology, Health Technology, medical technologies, health care technology

The Emergence of Telenursing

Posted by Brian Neese

Fri, Jun 09, 2017 @ 03:02 PM

transform.jpegIn many cases, patients are now able to access their health care providers through video conferencing, instant messaging, email and other forms of technology. This field, known as telehealth, is growing due to the demand for greater access and convenience in health care, according to Hospitals & Health Networks.

Advances in technology allow nurses to interact with patients remotely. This has led to the term “telenursing” or “telehealth nursing,” which is defined as “the use of telehealth/telemedicine technology to deliver nursing care and conduct nursing practice,” the American Telemedicine Association (ATA) says.

Telenursing is not a specialty area in nursing. Nurses in nearly all practice settings can provide care at a distance. And given the rapid rise of telenursing, current and future nurses can expect to have more career opportunities in this field.

Growth and Benefits

More than half of all U.S. hospitals use some form of telemedicine, according to the ATA. A survey shows that 90 percent of health care executives are developing or implementing a telemedicine program.

Other signs point to the growth of telemedicine and telenursing. State lawmakers are supporting legislation for telemedicine-related reimbursements. These changes have been accepted by private and public insurers. Providers are even extending services across the globe, and the ATA notes that more than 200 academic medical centers in the United States offer video-based consulting in other parts of the world.

Primary benefits associated with telemedicine include the following.

· Cost Savings: A heart failure telemonitoring program led to 11 percent cost savings, with an estimated return on investment of $3.30 in cost savings for every $1 spent on program implementation, according to the American Hospital Association. U.S. employers could save an estimated $6 billion by offering telemedicine, global professional services company Towers Watson says.

· Flexibility: About 20 percent of Americans live in rural areas without easy access to primary care or specialty care. More than 40 percent of hospitals surveyed said that a leading reason for investing in telemedicine tools is filling in gaps due to community remoteness. A survey of patients conducted by Software Advice, a company that compares electronic health records, revealed that 21 percent viewed the top benefit of telemedicine as not having to travel to receive care.

· Quality Care: Patient readmissions in the heart failure telemonitoring program were 44 percent lower over 30 days and 38 percent lower over 90 days, compared to patients not enrolled in the program. A study of 8,000 patient care outcomes using telemedicine services found no difference between the virtual appointment and an in-person office visit. In a Humana Cares remote health monitoring and management program for patients with congestive heart failure, at least 90 percent of patients felt more connected to their nurse, said the virtual care suite was easy to use and said they would recommend the program to their friends.

For patients who have not used a telemedicine service, 75 percent are interested in using one instead of an in-person medical visit, according to the Software Advice survey. For patients who have used telemedicine, 67 percent say that using telemedicine “somewhat” or “significantly increases” their satisfaction with their medical care.

Careers in Telenursing

“Telehealth nursing is practiced in the home, health care clinic, doctor’s office, prisons, hospitals, telehealth nursing call centers and

mobile units,” the ATA says. “Telephone triage, remote monitoring and home care are the fastest growing applications.”

Growth in telehealth has led to several telenursing practice areas:

· TeleICU

· Teletriage

· Teletrauma

· Telestroke

· Telepediatrics

· Telemental health

· Telecardiology

· Telehomecare

· Telerehabilitation

· Forensic telenursing

An example of telehealth transforming health care has been in the ICU. “Although the role of the bedside care-giver can never be replaced or diminished, it can certainly be augmented, enhanced, and facilitated,” Critical Care Nurse says. “The key to the long-term success is the continued consistent collaboration between the bedside team and the tele-ICU nurses, which can transform how critical care nursing is practiced.”

TeleICU has improved outcomes for critically ill patients by reducing ICU mortality, shortening stays in the ICU and in the hospital, increasing compliance with evidence-based best practices, improving outcomes for cardiopulmonary arrest patients and decreasing costs for patient care. ICU nurses use audio and video technology to assess and monitor patients at the patient’s bedside. At the click of a mouse, nurses have access to medical records, diagnostic images and laboratory results, as well as standard monitoring such as electrocardiography and hemodynamic values.

Major responsibilities for the teleICU nurse include making rounds via the camera and assessing all patients. The nurse will assess the patient’s physical appearance by video, check equipment for safety,

verify infusions and verbally interact with the patient, the patient’s family and staff. The nurse also acts as a resource for the bedside nurse, quickly retrieving vital pieces of information and data, and drafting detailed admission notes when a patient arrives in the unit to keep complete information about the patient available.

Future Opportunities

“As the US healthcare environment continues to evolve due to changes in reimbursement, legal issues, and shrinking healthcare resources, the expanding role of telehealth nurses will continue to evolve,” the ATA says. “Leadership and collaboration among international nurses is needed to outline the uses of ehealth/telehealth technologies to provide nursing care in an interdisciplinary manner to patients, regardless of staffing, time, or geographic boundaries.”

Career opportunities in areas such as telenursing will rely on candidates with a strong educational background. Educational standards are already on the rise, as more hospitals across the nation require nurses to hold a BSN degree. Aurora University’s online RN to BSN program equips graduates with the skills and knowledge needed to pursue advanced career opportunities. The program takes place in an online learning environment, allowing students the flexibility and convenience to complete their degree while maintaining their work and personal schedule.

Topics: healthcare, telehealth, medical technologies, telenursing

Nurses Will See These 3 Medical Technologies In Their Near Future

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Tue, May 02, 2017 @ 03:06 PM

FutureofMedicine.jpgWith technology consistently evolving, Nurses will see an influx of new advancements throughout the next couple of years. Nurses will have the opportunity to familiarize themselves with robot surgery, advanced prosthetics, and virtual reality. 
 
These new medical advancements will allow for more innovative techniques to help you provide the best care. 

Nursing departments are known for their willingness to trial new medical technology. From advanced surgery techniques to virtual reality (VR) systems, nurses get to see cutting-edge technologies before most people even hear about them.

Here are three new advancements nurses will see in the near future:

1. Robot surgery

Today's robots may not look like those popularized in science fiction stories, but they have proven to be very useful. In fact, robots have already proliferated within the nursing field.

One of the most exciting robotic advancements in recent years is the da Vinci robot, a multi-limbed piece of equipment that can perform complicated procedures with fewer invasive cuts than traditional surgical methods.

A trained surgeon is still completely in control of the robot, but because the machine has delicate yet strong appendages, it can cut and stitch within highly confined spaces.

2. Advanced prosthetics

Prosthetics have come a long way since the turn of the century. Today, researchers are developing limbs that can be controlled by the patient's own neural system – exactly as they would control a real appendage.

According to MIT Technology review, researchers at Case Western Reserve University have created a prosthetic arm capable of translating thoughts into simple movements. Currently, the movements are simple, but it is a promising step forward.

Meanwhile, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, researchers are producing a line of powered prosthetic legs to help amputees walk again.

To see these futuristic biomechanical legs in action, check out the video below:

 

 

3. Virtual reality

VR headsets have already made their way into the consumer market, but there's still so much more that researchers can do with the technology. From VR-assisted physical therapy to augmented reality applications, the possibilities of VR medical technology are limitless.

MedicalFuturist explained that VR applications are helping stroke patients recover their motor skills more quickly. By making repetitive exercises more fun, the program increases patient motivation throughout the recovery process.

Nurses in rehabilitation settings are likely to see VR use become more common over the next few years as the technology becomes affordable.

Every day, technological advancements make life a little easier for patients and the professionals who treat them. The above solutions are already in use today and will only become more prevalent as time goes on.

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Topics: medical technology, medical technologies

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