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May 30, 2012

Smart Phone

Wakes me in the morning, and I choose not to snooze. Check my emails at breakfast (quicker than firing up the laptop). Weather fine today, but cooling in the week--which is OK because the London Underground has a good service on all lines.

Check the news and tweets sitting on the Central line. Find the client’s office with GPS. Call my Mother on the way.

In Starbucks before next meeting and quick notes typed in. Read chapter of Hunger Games using the Kindle application (not great literature but engaging). Tackle a couple of chess puzzles. Get them right: brain clear this morning—always a sign. Check my notes on Evernote. Take a photo of an article in the free Metro so I can look at it later.

Life is a succession of choices, and this helps you to make them. Smart these phones.

May 22, 2012

Wirelessness

I make my offering at the altar, pay the priest and nod at the high priestess as I leave the temple of Apple on Regents Street. I still have ten minutes to make it.

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July 16, 2008

RFID and the Future of Healthcare

Much has been heard and said about the use of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology in the healthcare setting; the issue has been discussed and debated since the science found its way into hospitals to be used to track patients, medicines and equipments. In spite of all the negative publicity that’s been accorded to RFID, the technology has done more than its share in augmenting the care that’s offered to patients, especially those hampered by other disabilities and chronic conditions. Here are some issues in the medical field RFID can address:

  • The horror stories we hear about the wrong drugs being administered or incorrect treatment being provided to patients is enough to make us wary of hospitals, no matter how ill we are. But thanks to RFID, error-free patient, treatment and drug identification and verification is now a reality. RFID tags on patients allow electronic storage of information that allows healthcare practitioners to provide the right treatment and administer the right dose of medicine at the right times. Tags also carry the patient’s medical history which can give doctors information on the allergies that the patient has and the previous treatments that the patient has received.

  • Hospitals are now reducing their inventory and logistics expenses and also avoiding losses due to lost and misplaced shipments by using RFID to track their medicine and equipment supplies. Supply chains are also being equipped with the technology to prevent the counterfeiting of drugs.

  • RFID tags are being used to set off alarms and issue warning signals when something untoward happens – like when Alzheimer’s patients wander outside the limits of their home or when wrong dosages of medicines are administered. RFID tags can also act as reminders of important medical procedures or even dosage timings.

  • Some RFID tags are being used as sensors to warn clinicians of changes in temperature and humidity that control the storage of sensitive drugs.

  • Talking RFID tags are now being used to help visually-impaired patients with their medicine dosages – the tag reads out the name, dosage and time the medicine should be taken.

While the proponents of RFID cite these and other advantages as reason enough for a more widespread adoption of the technology in hospitals and other healthcare settings around the world, there are dissidents who raise concerns about the radio frequency waves interfering with other vital and life-saving equipment that are regularly in use in all medical settings.

A new study by RFID consulting and systems integration company BlueBean in conjunction with the Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis has found that passive RFID can be safely used in a hospital environment. Hopefully this piece of news will herald a wider use of RFID in all aspects of healthcare, across the world.

This post was contributed by Heather Johnson, who writes on the subject of Cruise Nursing. She invites your feedback at heatherjohnson2323 at gmail dot com.

January 26, 2008

Remote Health Monitoring: big brother or big help?

Picture of workers using PCs.UK law firm Eversheds reports Microsoft has applied for a patent for workplace monitoring software. It could remotely monitor a worker's wellbeing, productivity and competence using metabolic measures like heart rate, temperature and movement and relate them to their psychological profile.

Trade unions are concerned that such software could be used to support cases for dismissal, but Eversheds reminds us of its double edge. Workers may equally be able to claim they were subject to undue stress, which might entitle them to reasonable adjustments to their job and working conditions.

I attended a healthcare CIO conference at Microsoft in Reading UK last week. Fellow blogger Dr. Bill Crounce showed a short clip of a vision of future healthcare that made use of remote monitoring and also surface computing. Cabinets next to a patient's bed could indicate to a patient or a carer when it was time for medication to be to be taken by coloured rings around the drug containers, for instance.

January 04, 2008

Wireless Paradise

Picture of an islandThe man who occupied the room next to mine in my last year as an undergraduate has made the news. Shyam is interviewed in a feature on BBC World's Click.

Mauritius is creating a Cyberisland with wireless connections available to most of its citizens. Not only that, but cyberbuses travel the island allowing people, such as agricultural workers, who may be unable to access the Internet to do so.


December 23, 2007

It's in the Cantenna

I have asserted the rapid adoption of wireless technologies will be a potent force for change in healthcare. In South Africa only 1 in 100 have broadband and remote areas may not even have telecommunications.

An episode of the BBC's ClickOnline this morning described how an AIDS clinic in the rural community of Peebles Valley is exploiting wireless to improve care. Clinic and a hospice are several kilometres apart and find it hard to communicate because of the hilly terrain. They have solved this problem by using a network of antennae inserted into tin cans, which focus the full power of the wireless transmissions giving the WiFi network added range.

Nurses and doctors now access the patient database and communicate using Voice over IP (VOIP).

Read the full article on the BBC site.

September 08, 2006

Norwich Deploys Free WiFi

Picture of a baby feedingI apologise for not posting recently--a result of holiday and sharpening my skills by attending courses.

The city of Norwich in the UK has deployed the UK's largest free Wi-Fi network, which spans 4 kilometres.

Coverage by BBC TV showed a community midwife visiting a mother and newborn. The midwife was able to sit in her car, update and read records and check the latest advice, which she found a boon.

This is certainly a taste of future healthcare: wireless applications will, paradoxically, allow care to centralise and devolve. Specialists may be centralised in monitoring and diagnostic centres, while generalists may be devolved and mobile.

May 05, 2006

Sounds Healthy: iPOD in healthcare

On the London Underground everyone seems plugged into one. Even above ground in healthcare MP3 players are becoming ubiquitous.

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April 16, 2006

Commanding Voice: combining telephony and wireless

vocera.jpgNow I am a sucker for a cute gadget, especially one finished in black and silver that combines telephony and wireless. No surprise then that I spotted the Vocera badge on Telindus' stand at HC 2006. Vocera's system combines software with the badge to integrate PBX, pager, cellphone and push to talk.

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