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PICList Thread
'Minature Data Loggers (Medical telemetry) [OT]'
2000\05\18@095614 by paulb

OK, failing any further "bites" on this topic, I will explain the
"gotcha" to which I referred.

PIC development wrote:

> I think the actual hardware would be quite simple, but the difficult
> thing would be getting any equipment certified for medical use.

 Indeed, medical equipment has to be exhaustively certified.

Glen Torr wrote:

> My wife has been in hospital for major surgery and for the last week I
> have spent a lot of time seeing where simple temp, heart rate and
> blood pressure telemetry could save staff resources.

 Monitors for BP and HR are quite common and are in fact universal in
"Acute Care" and theatre/ recovery situations.  They *all* have
telemetry outputs (RS-232) inbuilt as of course, it adds virtually
nothing to the cost of the instrument at all - much of the cost is
indeed in the certification.

 Taking the hospital where I spend much of my time as an example, wired
telemetry is used in the Acute Care area to provide discreet alarms
(i.e., don't wake everyone else!) and logging.  It is not used in
theatre and recovery because staff hardly ever sit down at a desk - it's
just too busy.  Theatre equipment has dedicated logging printers

 In the ward areas, BP and HR are presently assessed using mobile
(trolley-stand) automated units with digital display and - telemetry
ports, presently unused.  Now, these units are already the minimum
standard for measurement so, would providing one of these per (every)
patient, with or without some sort of telemetry, be cost-effective?

 They could easily (probably do) have built-in logging of days of data,
thus my suggestion of download to a PDA with patient ID by a bar-code
wand would be the most cost-effective approach.

 Note that if there was any concern for monitoring of unexpected
events, the patient would already be on continuous monitoring.  The
observations in question are merely progress checks and documentation.

 Now the *real* "gotcha" is this - in respect to Glen's concern re
staff resources - the time spent in going from patient to patient to
make these observations, involving talking to them, touching them
(attaching and detaching the cuff, sticking the tympanic pyrometer in
their ear - generally regarded as more acceptable than a continuous
temperature monitoring probe wouldn't you say? ;-) and - making visual
observations - is not wasted at all.  It's in fact something that most
patients expect and assess in their estimate of quality care.

 The, or _a_, model where no-one approaches throughout the day unless
called, relying only on telemetry, is unlikely to please most people,
whose most common complaint is that "no-one ever comes to check on

 There's a certain minimum of staff you must have, IOW.
       Paul B.

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