Despite some perceptions, patient care and the medical devices within the field are not anchored strictly to a doctor’s office or medical facility.
Image Credit: Amphenol Advanced Sensors
Although a patient may eventually receive treatment in a traditional healthcare setting, patient care has always occurred in many other places. These include the back of an ambulance, in the cabin of a medical transport helicopter, or wherever the patient is – whether it is in their home or elsewhere.
Irrespective of the setting for treatment or the severity of a patient’s condition, data collected by medical devices and sensors can enhance the care received by a patient.
Mobile medical devices and their advanced sensors facilitate the delivery of care in these situations, making it easier and more effective than previously possible.
Providing optimized care for patient outcomes regardless of location
Mobile medical devices that are equipped with customized advanced sensors enable healthcare providers to access the necessary technology and accompanying treatment in any patient care scenario.
At a macro level, several key factors of patient care – which set the stage for overall improved outcomes – are enhanced regardless of where care is provided. These include communication with EMS, vital sign monitoring, and remote patient monitoring.
1. Enhanced vital sign monitoring
In the past, vital sign monitoring was often a manual process done in intervals. However, with the development of advanced sensor technology, vital sign monitoring has become more accurate, efficient, and less labor-intensive.
Mobile medical devices with integrated sensor technology facilitate the continuous monitoring of vital signs comparable to that of a hospital setting.
Regardless of location, caregivers can identify instant changes in key metrics throughout the duration of treatment. These metrics include respiratory rate, heart rate, oxygen saturation levels, and blood pressure.
While this monitoring is taking place, initial caregivers are free to handle other elements of treating patients while having the most up-to-date data on their vitals.
2. Improved communication with EMS
In more serious scenarios of patient treatment, the data collected on a patient’s condition by first responders with emergency medical devices becomes a real-time window into the patient’s care.
With traditional record keeping, data collected on emergency transport patients was presented to receiving doctors and nurses when they arrived at the ER.
The combination of advanced sensors and smart technology allows this same information to be recorded on the way to an emergency room and transmitted to medical care providers awaiting the patient’s arrival at the hospital. This means that information on the patient and their condition arrives before EMS is on site.
These few extra minutes with the patient data can result in a substantial difference in the treatment the patient receives upon arrival and for the duration of their hospital stay.
3. Effective remote patient monitoring
Due to the advancements in sensor and mobile medical technology, remote patient care has become an even more feasible alternative for treatment.
Sensors may be integrated into medical equipment, wearable devices, and other healthcare devices to monitor patients’ health conditions and deliver real-time data to healthcare providers.
This allows healthcare providers to constantly monitor patients from a distance, meaning patients can go about their daily lives while wearing a device that collects data on their vital signs, activity levels, and other important metrics.
This data is transmitted to healthcare providers who utilize it for the remote diagnosis and treatment of patients.
The utilization of sensors in remote patient care also delivers better patient outcomes. The data collected by sensors enables the early detection of changes in a patient’s condition and allows healthcare providers to intervene before the condition worsens.
This proactive approach toward patient care prevents hospitalizations and reduces the risk of complications.
In addition, sensors provide a more personalized experience for patients. Healthcare providers can modify their treatment plans based on the data collected by sensors, accounting for each patient’s lifestyle, health profile, and preferences.
Mobile medical equipment advanced by sensor technology
While standard in traditional medical settings, there are many medical devices now made mobile that relocate patient care and do so successfully.
Aside from an evolution in OEM medical device design and engineering for both portability and reliability in the field, sensor technology is preserving (and sometimes improving) functionality.
While innovations in medical technology will never result in field care being superior to patient care delivered in standard settings, out-of-office treatment is increasingly becoming a more feasible and impactful alternative.
Examples of medical devices that have new or improved applications in delivering out-of-office care include:
- Blood pressure monitors: Measuring a key metric in patient care, blood pressure monitors measure the force of blood against artery walls as an indicator of how well the heart is performing.
With advanced sensor technology and signal processing techniques, blood pressure monitors utilized in the field can filter out interference and noise, providing precise and reliable measurements.
Additionally, advanced sensors facilitate blood pressure monitoring that is non-invasive. This allows healthcare professionals to acquire readings quickly and easily without requiring invasive procedures.
- Respiratory monitors: These measure a patient’s lung function and breathing patterns, tracking a range of parameters, including respiratory rate, end-tidal CO2 (ETCO2) levels, and oxygen saturation levels.
Advanced sensor technology allows mobile respiratory monitors to better detect subtle changes in a patient’s breathing patterns, showing the presence of certain respiratory conditions and illnesses or a sudden change in overall health. Temperature monitors: These are one of the oldest mobile medical devices, but modern sensor technology has improved the reliability and accuracy of temperature monitors.
Using advanced sensor technology means mobile temperature monitors can detect rapid changes in body temperatures as small as 0.1 °F. This makes them an invaluable tool for quickly diagnosing a patient’s condition in the field.
- Dialysis machines: As some treatments can take place away from a traditional medical setting, dialysis machines are becoming increasingly common in ambulatory care.
Advanced sensor technology enables mobile dialysis machines to accurately measure parameters, including blood pressure and fluid levels, during treatments. This allows healthcare providers to deliver more precise care with reduced risks to the patient.
- Heart rate monitors: A stalwart in mobile medical devices, heart rate monitors provide some of the most important data on a patient’s condition – their immediate heart rate.
Advanced sensor technology allows heart rate monitors to do more than just measure a patient’s BPM in the field. It enables the detection of changes in heart rate or rhythm, as well as other parameters that may indicate an underlying cardiac condition.
In long-term remote care, the data collected by the sensors can be utilized for tracking the effectiveness of medication and lifestyle changes on the patient’s heart health over time.
Maintaining the quality of patient care regardless of location
It is not possible to predict exactly when or where patient care will take place, but mobile medical devices combined with advanced sensor technology allow healthcare providers to deliver quality care in any patient care situation.
This means that regardless of where patient care is required, whether it be in a doctor’s office, an ambulance, or elsewhere, caregivers can be assured that the devices they are using will provide improved treatment and better outcomes.
About Amphenol Advanced Sensors
Amphenol Advanced Sensors, with its portfolio of industry-leading brands - Thermometrics, NovaSensor, Telaire, Protimeter and Kaye - is an innovator in advanced sensing technologies and innovative embedded measurement solutions customized for regulatory and applications, value by providing critical information for real-time decisions.
We offer domain expertise, rapid customization, world-class manufacturing capability and lasting customer relationships deliver the greatest value in cost of ownership to their customers.
Amphenol Advanced Sensors is a member of the USA-based Amphenol Corporation. With our own global presence we offer our customers exceptional technical support and service in the areas of development, production and distribution.
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