Device Integration and Streaming Analytics on Display
Last weekend more than 2000 clinical engineers, clinicians, informaticists, and maintenance specialists assembled for the American Associatation for Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) in Austin Texas. The convention featured an interoperability showcase designed to highlight the fact that clinical engineers are in the proverbial sweet spot to enable significant technological growth for the facilities they represent. While many of the patient monitoring vendors were there with their proprietary systems, it seemed as if there was a new wind blowing looking for vendor-neutral data collection in order to feed the new breed of prospective analytics tools discussed in the showcase.
It was noted that many of the new heart rate or respiratory rate variability-based algorithms require waveform data. Most of the conventional device integration vendors focus on the easy part – capturing ASCII RS-232 data from a device and sending it to a server via TCP/IP where it is converted to HL7. Excel Medical’s combination of high-fidelty waveform and device data integration provides a more powerful platform with which to operate any number of clinical decision support applications. All in one environment that serves up that data to any number of fixed and mobile devices via a web interface as well as to any electronic medical record system, up to and including an API to directly embed live waveforms into an EMR.
Interoperability was the word most bandied about at the meeting. Excel Medical’s CarePanel provides the very definition of interoperability with a wireless platform that can convert medical devices into mobile device data collection platforms. The CarePanel is capable of interacting with the clinician with custom interview questions to augment the data collection, which is then passed on to the electronic medical record system. All of the data collected in the BedComm device acquisition system are acquired in the same time-domain as the waveforms, so, for instance, a low pressure alarm on a ventilator caused by a disconnected endotrachial tube can be witnessed alongside changes to the respiratory waveform, and the entire data episode can be stored for later review. You could even aggregate retrospective arterial blood gas data for correlation via an inbound HL7 feed.
The take away from the meeting was that platforms such as Excel Medical’s new WAVE (FDA 510K pending) platform will usher in whole new use-cases and standards of care that were only ideas a few years ago and will further define the concept of device integration and interoperability. With the ability to launch multiple clinical decision support “apps” on one platform consuming the most comprehensive diet of realtime clinical data available, it is apparent that we are on the verge of a technology revolution in healthcare.
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