Jan-Feb 2008

Keeping track of medical devices

Direct Part Marking (DPM), traditionally an expensive procedure for tracking and monitoring equipment, devices, products or parts is being made more affordable with Motorola’s portfolio of DPM handheld scanners.

Its potential applications in the healthcare industry are enormous, improving both cost and workflow efficiency and opening new avenues for device tracking, monitoring and use. “DPM has been around for about 15-20 years,” explained David Barnes, Motorola’s product marketing manager for the Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

“It was initially driven by NASA to mark devices and parts that go into space and was then adopted by the aerospace and automotive industries.” Similar to the ubiquitous barcode, DPM provides a way to permanently mark an item using a dot matrix pattern into which data can be uniquely encoded. The data is retrieved by scanning the dot matrix pattern.

The mark is placed on the device by the manufacturer. The most common marking method is dot peening, however laser etching, moulding, stamping or casting methods are also used. DPM can be placed on a variety of substrates – metal, plastic or glass; and can be read with a scanner whether high or low contrast, at various angles and depths of field, practically eliminating traditional contact scanning, special lighting and positioning requirements.

The mark cannot be washed or wiped off. It is very robust. “If the mark is put on to surgical instruments, for example, it will not be erased by heated sterilisation,” Barnes explained.

In the healthcare industry DPM can be used to mark surgical instruments, pacemakers and other implantable devices, as well as mobile hospital equipment such as trolleys. The benefits of DPM are many.

With various instruments, devices and equipment marked, the hospital will be able to automatically track, trace and monitor these items and determine where they are, whether they need to be cleaned or replaced, if they have gone missing and so on. This level of automation enhances the efficiency of the organisation.

“The scheduling of operations would be facilitated by being able to track and monitor the availability of surgical instruments, for example,” Barnes told Middle East Health. The tracking solution also opens new avenues of innovation worth exploring. “The ability to track instruments could enable hospitals to hire surgical instruments as needed for each operation. A third party would supply them, collect them and clean them.

“Mobile medical devices required in ambulances, can be more efficiently tracked and monitored, as they frequently leave the ambulance with the patient on arrival at the emergency section,” Barnes pointed out.

“Implants, such as pacemakers, that have DPM will enable physicians to determine the entire history of the device by simply scanning it. They will know when it was manufactured, implanted, and when it should be removed.”

The economic benefits are obvious. By being able to track, monitor and trace equipment and devices the hospital can use fewer of these devices more efficiently. Sterilisation and availability of devices can be more effectively scheduled. Fewer instruments would go missing. The age of each item could be easily determined with efficient replacement schedules devised.

“Traditionally DPM has been expensive, requiring a large systems-orientated process, however Motorola, which recently acquired DPM specialist Symbol Technologies, is offering a more affordable option with its portfolio of rugged portable, handheld readerscanners,” Barnes said.

Asked about the computer application required to store the data, Barnes said: “We work with specialised partners in the region who create specific computer applications required to suit the unique needs of each organisation.” It is still early days for DPM in the healthcare industry, but the apparent advantages it offers have the potential to open many innovative ways for hospitals to keep track of their assets.

● For more information visit: www.symbol.com

Trolleys offer flexible storage solution

With a number of different sizes of trolleys and static racks, the “Caretray” range offers a flexible modular storage solution for most areas, ranging from Accident & Emergency and Ward through to Critical Care and Phlebotomy.

The trolleys feature a robust one-piece welded, two push handles and require no on-site assembly. Recessed tops with contoured corners ease cleaning, whilst side panels incorporating runners with positive stops, prevents trays from being accidentally withdrawn. Available with two depths of translucent trays manufactured from high impact plastic, whilst dividers and identification strips assist with item segregation and identification.

Care rails mounted either side of the unit support a wide range of accessories including sharps and glove box holders, documents pockets and catheter racks, making the unit fully customisable dependant on the specific needs of the user.

● For the complete range of Caretray trolleys visit: www.bristolmaid.com

Frogskin for prostheses

“Frogskin, the prosthetic retro-fit material from TaylorCraft, has been used in my clinic for two distinct applications,” says Bill Spence, a Prosthetist/Orthotist at WD Spence Prosthetics, Glasgow, Scotland.

“The first application is for replacing the multiple layers of stump socks that are applied to a trans-tibial amputation stump following the shrinkage that takes place following surgery.”

Frogskin offers a significant advantage over the layers of stump socks in that application, by its nature, is confined to those areas which have undergone shrinkage, whereas the application of stump socks also adds bulk to the knee (where shrinkage does not occur) effectively lifting the stump out of the socket.

Thus Frogskin maintains the intimate fit of the prosthesis and the correct length of the prosthesis without the need to remake a socket which has become too large due to stump shrinkage. The technique offers considerable time and cost savings.

The second application is in the technique of ‘Hydrocasting’ whereby the patient can be cast, a check socket produced without rectification of the cast and returned to the patient for fitting.

At the fitting stage Frogskin is applied to the brim of the check socket and the stump is introduced to the socket allowing the amputee to bear weight through the temporary prosthesis. Walking trials are then conducted on this temporary prosthesis prior to manufacture of the definitive limb. This technique has proved to be successful in achieving an excellent quality of socket fit.

● For more information visit: www.gofrogskin.com

Berchtold unveils new versatile OR-Table

The OPERON D 850 is a multi-specialty surgical table that combines the ability to articulate high-weight capacities without sacrificing height requirements. Not only is it able to lift and articulate 450 kg, it is able to go lower than any other surgical table on the market at 563 mm yet is still able to rise to a maximum table-top height of 1,179 mm.

With its 420 mm longitudinal slide and carbon fibre table top, the OPERON D 850 provides optimal conditions for intraoperative imaging. The backlit hand pendant with both pictures and text allow easy use during endoscopic procedures.

● For more information visit: www.BERCHTOLD.biz

● Visit Berchtold at Arab Health: ZB49

Carestream Health unveils Kodak Directview DR3500

Carestream Health has introduced a compact digital radiography system that delivers the small footprint, functionality and convenience required by a broad range of healthcare facilities including hospitals, outpatient imaging centres and clinics that serve orthopaedic specialists and other physicians.

The new Kodak Directview DR 3500 system is available worldwide. The DR 3500 system provides even more productivity- enhancing features to the DR 3000 platform, which it replaces. These productivity gains can translate to a more efficient workflow that can help equip facilities to handle larger patient volumes without adding staff.

Like its predecessor, the compact DR 3500 system is fully motorised with a floor-mounted stand that does not require wall mounts or ceiling suspen- Motex highres pdf supplied sion provisions.

This creates greater placement flexibility and reduces the cost of installation. This single detector system can also be configured with a newly designed moveable table as an option. In addition to capturing upright and table exams, the Bucky’s tilting feature allows angled projections.

Automatic positioning for upright and table projections and the constant alignment of the x-ray tube and detector can save time for radiographic technologists and patients. The system can also be configured with a multifunctional, heightadjustable exam table with a four-way floating top that is designed for flexible patient positioning.

The pedestal design can be freely positioned at any angle to the detector and supports 227kg.

● For more information visit: www.carestreamhealth.com/154-168_MEH_DXXX_PN_Agenda.qxd:98-104_MEH_DXXXX_PN_Agenda.qxd 15/1/08 16:58 Page 158

Dräger simplifies patient monitoring with VF7

Dräger has introduced its new Infinity VF7 software, which enables Infinity patient monitors to communicate with Dräger incubators, infant warmers and ventilation devices.

The new software enables caregivers to view vital signs, respiration and thermo regulation data from multiple devices together on one screen at the bedside. Neonatal staff members face significant challenges such as caring for multiple fragile patients, while simultaneously having to assess vital patient information from separate devices.

With the new software release, patient information from multiple devices is integrated on one display that can easily be configured for the user’s need. Additionally, a special neonatal admit screen automatically updates patient days of life and correct gestational age.

“With this release, Dräger is taking another step toward making comprehensive data about the very special patients in the NICU easily accessible to care givers,” says Harald Kneuer, director Product Management, Business Unit Perinatal Care at Dräger. “As a result, faster recognition of the infant’s current situation supports improved decision making.”

● For more information, visit: www.draeger.com
● Visit Dräger at Arab Health 2008 – stand, 2H20

Applied Biosystems expands line of siRNAs

Applied Biosystems has launched Silencer Select siRNAs, designed to deliver the most consistent gene silencing results and gene function data available to biomedical researchers performing RNA interference (RNAi) experiments.

Silencer Select siRNAs provide a set of pre-designed short interfering RNAs (siRNAs) that have been developed using Applied Biosystems’ new proprietary siRNA design algorithm to more reliably silence specific genes.

The siRNAs are chemically modified to enhance the specificity of silencing, resulting in consistent gene silencing at lower siRNA concentrations and with fewer off-target effects. Silencer Select siRNAs extend Applied Biosystems’ existing line of Silencer siRNAs, which provide highly effective siRNAs for each human, mouse, and rat gene (more than 200,000 siRNAs); siRNA libraries, including genome-wide siRNA libraries; and custom siRNA libraries.

Applied Biosystems’ complete line of real-time PCR products complements the new Silencer Select siRNAs in the RNAi workflow.

● For more information visit: www.appliedbiosystems.com/select

Integrated insulin therapy from Medtronic

Medtronic Mediterranean has announced the Middle East launch of the Arabic language Paradigm REALTime Insulin Pump and Continuous Glucose Monitoring System (Paradigm REALTime), a progressive therapy available for patients who use insulin to treat diabetes.

It is the first integrated insulin therapy to display real-time continuous glucose readings and trend graphs, allowing patients to make immediate selfmanagement decisions to improve their glucose control after confirming readings with a fingerstick measurement. The Paradigm REAL-Time System integrates an external insulin pump with continuous glucose monitoring (CGM).

The system’s glucose sensor takes as many as 288 daily glucose readings per day – providing nearly 100 times more information than three daily fingerstick readings. Current standards for assessing glucose control include A1C tests and fingerstick measurements, yet both have limitations.

As a result, patients are unable to detect approximately 60% of low glucose (hypoglycemia) events and have difficulty assessing glucose fluctuations while they sleep. Real-time CGM allows patients to view glucose trends throughout the day and night, and understand how fast, and in what direction, their glucose levels are heading.

By discovering how diet, exercise, medication and lifestyle affect their glucose levels, patients can make more informed selfmanagement decisions and achieve a greater sense of confidence when managing their disease.

● For more information visit: www.medtronic.com

Philips unveils wireless mobile clinical assistant

Royal Philips Electronics used the World Health IT annual Congress to unveil CliniScape, its first Mobile Clinical Assistant.

The handheld device enables doctors and nurses to wirelessly connect to patient information stored in a hospital’s electronic medical records, improving patient care at the bedside.

It incorporates a large, high-quality pen-controlled touchscreen, RFID and barcode scanning, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and a digital camera. Diederik Zeven, general manager Middle East Philips Medical Systems, said: “With CliniScape, care providers can update a patient’s electronic record at their bedside – an approach that’s much more efficient than paper-based systems.

They can also use the device to show the patient their own medical images or other relevant data.” Available from spring 2008, CliniScape has been designed specifically for the hospital environment.

Its ergonomic, lightweight design is medical grade, and includes a long-life battery and a large 10” XGA pencontrolled touchscreen. Its intuitive interface means that healthcare professionals require minimal training whilst providing significant benefits.

The device can help to reduce medication errors, positively identify staff and patients, fill out charts, capture vital signs, write up reports and validate blood transfusions as well as closely monitor the healing of wounds.

● For more information visit: www.medicalphilips.com

New addition to TIMS DICOM

Foresight Imaging has a new addition to the TIMS DICOM System product line – the TIMS 500 DICOM System.

The TIMS 500 is a new, lower cost TIMS DICOM System for converting any non-DICOM medical modality to DICOM. The TIMS 500 captures images from any medical modality, converts to DICOM, and sends the resulting study to PACS. “We are very excited about our new TIMS 500 release and the productivity enhancements in version 2.1 of the TIMS software.

The TIMS 500 lowers the cost of ownership for our customers who only require static frame capture for their PACS connectivity solution,” said Tony Molinari, vice president of sales & marketing for Foresight Imaging.

● For further information, visit: www.tims.com

New weapon to fight MRSA

Hospitals in the UAE fighting the battle to stop the spread of the Methicillin-Resistant Staphyloccocus Aureus (MRSA) ‘superbug’ will soon have access to a new five-hour culture-based test that detects the deadly bacteria direct from clinical specimens. Healthcare associated infections, of which MRSA is the most significant, cause 5,000 deaths in the UK each year.

Patients who contract MRSA have on average three times the length of hospital stay, three times the cost and five times the risk of inhospital death than inpatients without this infection. With the ability to act quickly, hospitals can reduce mortality and morbidity. At present there is insufficient data on MRSA rates in UAE, but it is estimated that over the past six years incidence rates in hospitals have doubled on average, from 4% to 8%.

The new 3M BacLite Rapid MRSA Test will help clinicians quickly identify MRSA colonised patients. A confirmed negative test result is available within five hours and a confirmed positive result in 24 hours, about half the time of previous tests. The improved speed of these results will mean that staff can act quickly to identify at-risk patients.

● For more information visit: www.3m.com

Good position for Composiflex

Composiflex, a global supplier of highly-engineered composite products, has expanded its manufacturing and design capabilities to produce cutting-edge, patient positioning systems that are well suited for use with MRI diagnostic technology.

The vast majority of composite patient positioning products in the market are manufactured using carbon fibre, which is primarily applicable for use with CT scan and X-ray technologies, but not with MRI equipment. Marty Matthews, Composiflex sales and marketing executive, said: “Through our material science expertise and advanced design capabilities, Composiflex is focusing on providing medical product solutions that are suitable for magnetic resonance systems by altering the material make-up and design of current products, or creating new ones.

“Additionally, we are developing multi-mode medical products that healthcare providers can successfully use with a range of technologies including MRI, CT scan, PET and X-ray platforms.”

● Visit www.composiflex.com for more details.

Carry case ensures dignity

An innovative case which allows patients more dignity when carrying around home peritoneal dialysis kits was showcased at Medica 2007, Germany, in November.

Available from CP Cases, a leading designer and manufacturer of protective cases and bags, the product is a user-friendly rotomoulded plastic case which has been specifically designed to draw attention away from the kit’s function; allowing patients to feel more comfortable carrying it around. CP Cases also make custom-built transit cases to enable manufacturers to send loan kits to hospitals.

Edward Sloper, marketing director of CP Cases, said: “The design of our bags and cases play a significant role in improving the delivery of medical products; whether it be their protective packaging or professional presentation.”

● Visit www.cpcases.co.uk for more details.

Carestream Health expands its Digital Dashboard

Carestream Health announced worldwide availability of its enhanced Kodak Carestream Digital Dashboard that now supports monitoring of Kodak Carestream RIS operations. The previous version of the digital dashboard, which was launched this spring, supported Carestream PACS and Kodak Carestream Information Management Solutions.

The digital dashboard allows system administrators to proactively monitor equipment performance, storage utilisation and user volumes as well as verify network communication of other vendor’s devices. Radiology and PACS administrators can use the digital dashboard from an existing laptop or desktop computer.

A stoplight graphic display gives immediate feed-back regarding the status of any monitored device. The dashboard also makes it easy to track the number of concurrent users for a device, the number of read and unread imaging studies, as well as the status of other tasks.

The dashboard’s graphic view equips administrators to identify and resolve potential problems, thereby reducing or avoiding system downtime and optimising workflow. Maintenance checklists provide task details, reminders and a history of completed actions.

Administrators also appreciate the dashboard’s ability to deliver summary reports on system efficiency, which allows them to adjust schedules, better distribute patient and system workloads and increase staff efficiency.

● For more information visit: www.carestreamhealth.com

Medical image importer sets the standard

The Codonics Integrity Medical Image Importer is a powerful, yet simple, solution for importing medical studies from CD or DVD into a PACS system. Integrity sets the industry standard for optimising image-import workflow by bringing the reconciliation work to the user – instead of the user to the work.

For example, the main system can be located conveniently at the receptionist’s desk where patients arrive with their study on disc. The receptionist or clerical staff can immediately import the data by simply inserting the disc into the network appliance where it is automatically read, scanned for viruses and imported.

Medical studies are imported from the disc using Integrity’s advanced, rule-based search capabilities to quickly reconcile the external patient data with the facility’s local PACS and Modality Worklist (MWL).

● For more information visit: www.codonics.com

New view from GE Healthcare

GE Healthcare IT, provider of clinical, financial and administrative technology solutions, has unveiled Centricity OneView, a webbased clinical information and workflow management system designed to connect multiple discrete RIS and PACS solutions.

Centricity OneView is a Web-based solution and a single point of access for radiologists and technologists. It connects organisations to images, reports and status information regardless of the system from which they originated.

Patient imaging records New view from GE Healthcare are comprehensive and consolidated, and accessible. As a result, customers can leverage their existing technology while improving cross enterprise workflow and improve access to important patient data.

“Centricity OneView supports the continuum of transforming information into insight, providing a holistic view of diagnostic clinical information,” said Don Woodlock, VP and Global GM, GE Healthcare Imaging Solutions.

● For more information visit: www.gehealthcare.com/centricity

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