We’re increasingly obsessed with the idea of personal health tracking devices like the long-awaited iWatch, but current Apple devices can also be used to revolutionize medicine within hospitals.
A new report in the U.K. states that doctors and nurses at Middlesbrough’s James Cook University Hospital are using iPads and iPod touches to streamline the hospital’s current reliance on paper notes.
Using the scheme, staff record patients’ vital signs at their bedside using an iPod touch. With the right software, the technology is able to automatically creates physiological observations charts and national early warning scores for each patient.
Patient status can also be checked at any time using a series of networked iPads, which are additionally used by doctors on ward rounds to delve into patient data. To accommodate the technology, wards in the hospital are being fitted with docking stations for charging the devices.
South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust announced that it had secured £1 million ($1.69m) back in March to introduce handheld devices, and the use of iPads and iPods at James Cook University Hospital represents the first step of this scheme in action.
In a report, set to be discussed this week, South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust chief executive Tricia Hart noted that:
“The key benefits of the system is the more rapid identification of deteriorating patients which in pilot sites has led to a reduction in hospital and critical care length of stay and a reduction in mortality – all of which are a huge benefit to both patients and clinicians.”
The initial rollout started on June 23, and within three days the test ward at James Cook University Hospital was completely paperless.