Arab Health 2017 Review

Digital products for the hospital of the future


Taiwanese company Advantech was at Arab Health to show some of their solutions designed for the ‘smart hospital’. The company is one of the leading players in digital healthcare and their products are used in several leading hospitals in the region, including Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, King Khalid University Hospital in Riyadh and Hamad Medical Corporation in Qatar.

We spoke to Allen Tsai, senior sales manager, about some of their futuristic devices.

He explained that their POC W243 24” Widescreen Point-of-Care Terminal has a touchscreen and can also be used hands-free, similar to “Connect” technology, which is especially useful in the OR when it comes to improving infection control. Rather than using cameras like the Connect technology, the surgeon wears an armband – an Internet of Things (IOT) device – which connects via a sensor to the terminal. The surgeon has full control over the images on the terminal monitor and can manipulate them with simple hand gestures and muscle movements made under the armband. This enables them to continue surgery without having to touch the screen repeatedly, which improves infection control – so essential in the OR.

Tsai pointed out that Advantech is not a turn-key company, but provides smart hospital solution packages with an equalpartner alliance, including companies like GE Healthcare, Philips Healthcare and Drager.

“We can customize solutions for hospitals, according to their needs,”

Tsai said. Some of the other digital products they were exhibiting included a patient infotainment system, a smart nurse cart and a complete digital Patient Visit Management System.

The Patient Visit Management System enables patients to check-in on their own and self-check their vital signs before seeing the doctor. This system includes anIntelligent Self-Check-in, which is linked to a mobile app on the patient’s smart phone. The patient checks-in by filling in their data on the monitor and the Intelligent Queueing and Calling System enables them to keep track on the app of when exactly the appointment is due. This way they don’t have to sit around waiting, but can go get a coffee and will be alerted a few minutes in advance of when their appointment will begin. The system also includes a Vital Signs Self- Service kiosk, which the patient uses before seeing the doctor. The results are relayed to the patient’s electronic medical record and to the doctor. There is also has a patient feedback system enabling the patient to rate the service, providing important servicequality feedback for the healthcare facility.

Advantech’s patient infotainment terminal for the ward environment is a smart TV, providing TV channels, health educational videos, scheduling so the patient can know in advance when their next appointment is, nurse call, internet and Skype, and food ordering. Nurses and doctors can use an RFID card to call up the patient’s medical records on the monitor and discuss them with the patient in the ward. “This significantly increases efficiency and quality of care,” explained Tsai.

The nurse cart mobile workstation, automates drug administration, ensuring patients do not get the wrong medication. The system has a series of draws to store medication specific to each patient. Identification of the specific drawer for the patient is made by scanning the barcode that the patient wears on their wrist. The nurse cart is ergonomically designed and has antimicrobial coating for infection control. It has a battery life of at least 8 hours to run for a full nurse shift.

“It’s important to note that the terminal in the nurse cart has no fan,” said Tsai. “This greatly reduces the spread of microbes in the hospital environment. Systems with fans seldom have the fans cleaned and are renowned to harbour microbes on the fan and blow them out into hospital environment as the cart is wheeled around the wards.”

Advantech’s digital products are the way of the future in smart healthcare facilities. They are all digitally integrated. Using them will increase efficiency, lower costs, improve infection control, reduce medical errors, increase patient happiness and uplift the quality of healthcare – all increasingly important aspects of modern healthcare.

Next generation Ford Transit Ambulance takes centre stage

The Dubai ambulance fleet has recently been strengthened by the addition of nine brand new custommade Ford Transit vans, the world’s best-selling cargo van nameplate with a 50-plus year legacy.

Ferno, the global leader in emergency pre-hospital patient handling equipment, spent more than three years developing the iNTraxx System (Integrated Vehicle Component System and iNLine Fastening System) using the Ford Transit for ambulance conversion, winning a top innovation award at the 2016 World Expo.

These Ford Transit ambulances delivered to the Dubai Corporation for Ambulance Services (DCAS) are the first of their kind in the world. Customized by Horton Emergency Vehicles, a division of market-leading emergency vehicle manufacturer REV Group, the interior of the ambulance is modular, and can be changed around in a matter of minutes, depending on the emergency situation.

The new Ford Transit Van ambulance is more compact than the typical boxon- a-chassis style ambulance. Vital tools, such as IV equipment, oxygen, monitors and supply bags, all hang along the side of the cabin with quickrelease mounts on a track system for easy and immediate access, which makes the administration of medical attention as nimble and capable as the Transit itself.

“One of the greatest benefits of the Ford Transit IPTS (Integrated Patient Transport System) is that its design allows our emergency medical technicians to remain safely seated and restrained while performing onroute to the hospital,” said Khalifa bin Darri, CEO and executive director, DCAS. “Paramedics can be strapped into their seat, which can move forwards and backwards, meaning everything, including the patient, is safely accessible on the journey where time may very well be of the essence.”

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy has great potential in region


Patients receive treatment inside a hyperbaric oxygen chamber designed by Fink Engineering

Fink Engineering in partnership with Al Fajer Emergency Medical Services were at Arab Health to promote their hyperbaric chambers designed and built for medical facilities to enable them to provide hyperbaric oxygen therapy to patients.

Middle East Health spoke to Dr Ian Millar, a hyperbaric medical expert. Dr Millar, MBBS, FAFOEM, FUHM, Dip DHM, Cert DHM, is Medical Director of The Alfred Hospital, Melbourne, Australia.

Hyperbaric medicine is not well known in the region. However, it has some unique therapeutic qualities, specifically for wound healing. For this reason, there is great potential for its application in the Gulf countries which are struggling to cope with the large number of diabetic patients, many of whom are likely to suffer chronic wounds from the disease.

So, what exactly is hyperbaric medicine?
Dr Millar explained: “Hyperbaric medicine uses super-dose oxygen to elevate the blood oxygen levels in the body 15-20 times above normal. The patient breathes 100% oxygen in a pressurised room, or hyperbaric chamber, which is pressurised to between 2 and 3 times atmospheric pressure.

“This turns the oxygen into a ‘drug’. It becomes more than just a supplement and stimulates the body’s healing response through a complicated, but now well understood, physiological process. This has a range of therapeutic benefits that can’t be achieved by any other method.”

Simple hyperbaric chambers for divers have been around for a long time. Chambers designed for for medical purposes have been around for 50-60 years, Dr Millar said.

“However, medical hyperbaric chambers are now seeing a resurgence because of two factors – the science improved better with numerous recent clinical trials and secondly, the technology is more advanced – with these clinically friendly chambers that manufacturers, like Fink Engineering, are building.”

Fink Engineering designs state-ofthe- art chambers in a range of sizes that accommodate several people comfortably.

They are designed especially for the healthcare setting. They provide clean, sterile environments, with proper lighting and ventilation, and contain all the equipment that is required. Ideally, they should be integrated into the hospital and be used as conventional therapy, Dr Millar pointed out.

Therapeutic effects
The key therapeutic effects of hyperbaric medicine include maximising wound healing and response to infection, as well as tissue that is threatened by ischemia and injury.

The most common patient group for which it is used are diabetic patients with gangrene, diabetic foot ulcers or surgical complications.

“How it is used varies depending on the needs of the patient. In emergency conditions the patient may only use the chamber for one or two days. For chronic conditions, it is like a drug and needs to be administered daily for six to eight weeks, such as for a diabetic patient whose wound has not healed for a year and the only other option is amputation,” Dr Millar pointed out.

He noted that 30 to 50% of patients with gangrenous wounds from diabetes will have an amputation. Hyperbaric therapy can reduce this to around 10%.

“That’s the potential to save a lot of amputations,” he said.

“A patient with severe infection might have the infection turned around in three or four days,” he added.

Beside wound healing and infection treatment, it can be used for a group of patients who get complications from cancer treatment, such as those suffering the side effects of radiotherapy.

“Hyperbaric therapy is unique in its ability to reverse the damage done from radiotherapy,” Dr Millar said.

It can also be used to reduce complications following major trauma, such as open wounds, crush injuries – acute wounds.

“It has been shown to be effective against necrotising infections – and chronic infections, such as those that may arise from prosthetic joint replacement, or spinal surgery. Hyperbaric therapy cures the infection and enables the patient to keep the prosthesis.”

Physiologically, the safety profile is now very well established with this therapy, provided it is administered in a safe way, he noted.

“Although quite well established in most parts of the world, this therapy has minimal availability in the Middle East, but looking at the multi therapeutic uses it has there is justification for its establishment in all major hospitals and, at least, certainly in every major city,” Dr Millar said.

The chamber is relatively capital intensive to set up – in the price range of an MRI or linear accelerator, but unlike these pieces of equipment, the chamber’s lifespan is long – at least up to 50 years.

Claire Hill, Training and Operations Manager at Al Fajer, said that Fink Engineering and Al Fajer had recently signed an MoU with the intention to create awareness of the unique benefits of the this therapy, as well as increasing visibility of the chamber, in the region.

“There are no large rectangular hyperbaric chambers in the UAE, ones that provide space for patients to be wheeled into while in a bed, for example,” she said.

Hyperbaric medicine organisations

Live surgery performed at Arab Health

During a complex cardiac surgery performance at Arab Health 2017, specialist surgeons from Royal Brompton & Harefield Hospitals (RB&HH) took to the show floor to demonstrate a procedure that provides rapid relief for those suffering Obstructive Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy in the Middle East.

Through this surgery, patients are able to experience a substantial improvement in quality of life and the risk of sudden cardiac arrest is reduced.

RB&HH is one of few specialist Inherited Cardiac Conditions (ICC) centres across the globe, and the procedure provides hope to patients in the Middle East with obstructive Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy, an inherited heart disease, which affects as many as 1 in 500 people across the world.

Performed to an audience made up of show visitors, the technically demanding practise was simulated by Mr Fabio De Robertis, adult consultant cardiac and transplant surgeon at RB&HH while Dr Antonis Pantazis, consultant cardiologist at RB&HH, Lead of the Cardiomyopathy Service, talked through the procedure.




Date of upload: 14th Mar 2017

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