Editor’s note: This story is guest authored by Prof. Dr. Harry van Goor, who is the Professor of Surgical Education at Radboudumc in the Netherlands.
Radboud University Medical Center in Nijmegen, Netherlands is one of the top teaching healthcare instutions. With about 1,000 beds, we employ a team of 10,000 and offer educational services to 3,000 students every year. As one of the globally leading institutions, we are expected to head the way in health innovation in the fields of prevention, diagnostics, and treatment based on years of scientific research.
We are gearing up to unfold a brand new, state of the art facility with 150 rooms and clinics in the late 2021. We designed the new facility to deliver a unique experience where patients are placed at the center of their care, empowered, and supported throughout their journey. In light of that, the new building will highlight the healing environment design principles with innovative technology and solutions that enhance the quality and efficiency of care.
Partnership for the Hospital Room of the Future
Prior to the launch of the new hospital, we envisioned the hospital room and care of the future that is smart, interactive, and customized for the needs and preferences of each patient. We have decided to build a demo room that is the exact replica of the architectural designs inside of the existing hospital at the Neurology ward. Our main goal is to test the efficacy and interoperability of design decisions and technologies intended for the new novel patient experience.
We approached Ouva to pilot the platform as one of the underlying technologies to continuously monitor the patient’s condition, safety, and operation at all times. The goal was to empower healthcare workers with tools to provide preventative measures and ensure patient wellbeing in a non-invasive and contact-free way.
Our initial collaboration quickly turned into a multi-year research partnership between two institutions, exploring impact areas at a deeper level than possible individually. The Ouva team recognizes that contactless monitoring for safe care is the future and they explore everyday new applications in this field. Their professionalism, know-how and flexibility makes this collaboration impactful.
Touch-Free Care Automation
Similar solutions, sensors adopted by hospitals today typically require contact with the patient’s body which creates a infection and maintenance risk as well as adding stress and limiting the mobility of patients. The Ouva solution is using optical sensing; infrared, thermal and stereo cameras, and machine learning models to centrally monitor patient safety, room hygiene, and bed turnover in real-time while preserving patients' privacy.
Our collaboration has a potential for big impact, enabling us to have a new type of visibility into patient care. With real-time metrics and alerts made available by Ouva, the hospital staff and management can identify the root causes of the care challenges and delays, create accurate course corrections, and take immediate action on the fly. Based on the historical data points from each patient’s stay such as the patient’s condition, mobility, and pain levels, our management team will be able to reveal new acumen to further advance the care delivery outcomes.
Focused Care Outcomes with Ouva
The main objective of our collaboration is to improve the safety and efficiency of the care for patients, while reducing the workload of our front-line healthcare workers. Moreover, with the recent COVID-19 pandemic, the importance of touch-free sensing and remote contact with caregivers for infection control became very apparent.
During our collaboration, we have identified three main areas where Ouva can make the biggest impact:
- Infection Control. Measuring contact with patients, and surrounding surface areas, guiding cleaners with contaminated area maps, measuring skin temperature, detecting glove, gown, and mask compliance, understanding utilization of hand sanitizers and analyzing hand hygiene quality.
- Patient Condition & Safety. Tracking patient mobility, discomfort, and unusual behavior (e.g. sleep patterns), wander management, fall and pressure sore prevention.
- Workflow Optimization. Tracking bed turnover step-by-step, reducing lag time between patient discharge and admission, automating room assignment and service planning.
Interoperability for Sustainable Care Automation
Ouva's flexibility of the platform allows for expansion in capabilities with new features without needing to make any updates or modifications to the existing infrastructure. We are currently researching Ouva's efficacy, starting with the neurology patients who are at high fall-risk. During this phase, our team is ensuring seamless integration of Ouva into the daily care workflow by testing integrations with EHR (Electronic Health Record) systems, messaging protocols, and other smart sensors. The ultimate goal, is to create an interoperable platform with Ouva monitoring as the pivotal technology making the difference in personalized and participatory patient care.