Photos: The advanced technology that’s powering hospital innovation
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Perfint Healthcare makes Maxio, a guided robotic system that helps take doctors through cancer diagnostics, pain care, and surgeries. It can do things such as find exactly where to place a needle in a tumor more accurately than even a human doctor could. The robots have been wheeled around about 1,500 hospitals around the world so far.
TUGs are smart courier robots made by Aethon taking over simple tasks in UC San Francisco’s new medical center. It does deliveries, so staff can better focus on the more important parts of their job. They can carry loads of up to 1,000 pounds and are great for carrying things like linens, equipment, and paper work. It does its job with the help of many sensors and a camera.
High-tech patient rooms
Robots aren’t the only advanced technology at the UCSF Medical Center. The hospital also offers MRI and CT scan rooms that show scenes of places around the world and allow patients to browse the web. The patient rooms also have tablets with which they can Skype friends, email doctors, or order food.
This Biovigil badge monitors when a doctor or nurse enters a patient’s room using infrared sensors on the wall — and then chemical sensors in the badge can tell if the staff member washes their hands. If they do, it shows a green light. If they don’t, it glares red, and if they delay the process too long, it shows yellow. It’s good for shaming people into cleaning their hands correctly.
The Johns Hopkins Medicine Pediatric Biorepository at All Children’s Hospital offers a range of storage options for medicines, plasma, DNA, and many other biospecimens. Since it has to be kept a certain temperature and monitored almost constantly, it’s one of the most high tech systems in the hospital. It’s monitored by a data tracking and alarm system, and the specimens are retrieved with a robotic arm.
MEDi, which stands for Medicine and Engineering Designing Intelligence, are childlike robots that are being used at Alberta Children’s Hospital. They are supposed to calm kids’ nerves by giving them high fives and making small talk, and they’ve been tested for about three years at the hospital.
This interactive media wall at Boston Children’s Hospital is meant to engage patients and families of all ages. It’s in the lobby and towers at 30 feet tall. When a child moves into the space, an avatar appears and tracks their movement, and reacts to gestures they make. It also shows various images like underwater scenes and art.
Glasses that can see cancer
Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis created high-tech glasses that surgeons can use during surgery that detect cancer cells. Using a special mounted video display, the glasses can see cancer cells light up after a molecular agent that is injected into a patient attaches to them.
On-demand video interpreting
Yale-New Haven Hospital recently rolled out remote video interpreting systems for those patients that have limited English proficiency, or are hard of hearing. The units are iPads mounted on poles that access healthcare interpreters through a company called Stratus, which connects clients with more than 175 spoken and signed languages.
Haiti's solar-powered hospital
In Haiti, 1,800 solar panels were put on the roof of a hospital as part of a project by Partners in Health (PIH) and Hu00f4pital Universitaire de Mirebalais (HUM), to ensure that the facility wouldn’t run out of power. It’s part of a larger project where 11 medical facilities are getting photovoltaic systems.