CNET News Video: Inside the hospital of the future
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CNET News Video: Inside the hospital of the future

7:23 /

Kaiser Permanente IT manager Sean Chai shows CNET's Ina Fried what the operating system of the future may look like, as well as some of the gadgets aimed at bringing more health care into the home.

-I'm Ina Fried. I'm here with Sean Chai who is a leader in the IT area for Kaiser which is one of the big health systems in the country and one of the leaders in healthcare technology. We're here for the HealthCamp SF un-conference but Sean is giving us a tour of the Garfield Center which is Kaiser's research lab. So what are we seeing here Sean? -Good morning. You're seeing one of Kaiser's patient room in the future where the current standards and design is fused with future thinking and future research. So in this room, you see a rate of medical and telecommunication devices. For example, on the big screen, you can see we have a real-time location system that allows us to track the movements of our nurses and patient. In this case, it actually has detected a patient on the floor. So it has the fall detection capability. In the future, we can actually detect movements prior to the fall and use our advanced analytic engine to predict a fall, so we can actually prevent that from happening. -So if a patient falls in the room, one of the things that you're showing here can detect that and then display it up there and presumably alert a nurse. -Absolutely. Then you can send the information to our alarm management system which will send the event into Vocera badges like what I'm wearing or a cellphone that the nurse is carrying. -And what are some of the other things? I see an iPad here. -Well, we're looking at a lot of what we called point of care in point of diagnostic devices. Tablet solutions allow our physicians or clinicians to provide bedside care and also better access to our EHR/EMR solution which is KP HealthConnect. Having said that, we are very much device vendor in platform agnostics so we're evaluating quite a few different form factors and making sure that these devices are evaluated in the context of healthcare in Kaiser so that they can be rugged. We can wipe them to ensure disinfection and also look for the ability to integrate additional functionality like the barcode scanner into one form factors. So that way in the future nurses don't have to carry a big tool belt. -And so actually here, you're showing 3 different devices but Kaiser already uses in practice, a motion computing tablet that actually combines all those. So, it's heavier than an iPad might be, but as you point out, it's rugged. It integrates the bar scanner and camera. -Right and those are the trade offs or few. When they integrate the functionality and unify communication capability, the device will be a little bit heavier but in the end you only have to carry one device. We are currently piloting the motion computing device. And so far, it looks a very promising adjunct mobile option. -Great. What are some of the other things we have here? -Some of the more interesting sort of technology we're evaluating includes this-- This is a vital sign sensor from a small company, sort of, in Hawaii that allow us to capture the respiration rate by beaming in essence about a radar, radiowaves, to patient's body to detect the movement of the chest and then produce the respiration rate. As you can see, it's completely wireless and touchless. -So some of the thing technology that allows the weathercaster to be so accurately wrong can now measure my respiration hopefully with a little more accuracy than the weather forecast. -Absolutely, and also give our patient more mobility and agility. So, here, you can actually move around without being tethered by other wires and cuffs. -And then, one of the things we have here is a camera which is actually showing the two of us talking, but this is something you can use both to do a phone call to a remote place for either diagnostics. But one of the interesting things I heard you mentioned earlier today is that you can also use it for translation so that you could have essential translator and then have that person handle multiple rooms simultaneously at different facilities. -Absolutely. In fact, you have basically described the definition of telepresence, the ability to project a resource or person from a remote distance as if the interpreter was actually physically in the room. Thus, allow us to be more efficient and allow to serve multiple facilities by using this kind of technology to connect with our different hospitals and clinics. -The other really cool thing that this allows which I've never been able to do before is do a two-shot interview with me holding the camera, so I'm really impressed with that technology as well. A lot of the center is devoted to the care facilities of the future. This is actually looking at the home environment. So we have a mock kitchen here where we have a number of healthcare technology pieces. Sean, what are you holding here? -What I'm holding is a new technology from Intel Health that will allow our member with special needs. For example with learning disabilities, dyslexia, or even a blindness to be able to capture the information they need. For example, medication instruction information. It produces larger fonts up to 100 or 150 points so they can see and also transform the information into audio so they can hear. In this case, this device will ensure that they take the right medication at the right time. -So, basically, the reader will allow somebody either with poor language skills or with learning difficulties or vision problems to have the instructions for medical care that they need read a loud to them. -You're exactly right. As easy as point, shoot, and read out loud. -But you're also trying out something that would make pill taking even easier. What do we have here, Sean? -Absolutely! We are looking at a medication dispensing kiosk or machine that allows to ensure that we dispense the right medication, right dosage at the right time. So grandmom or mom just need to push a button. It will automatically dispense the right dose of medication, so she can take the medication to help us support the very complex medication regimen and process. -So one of the things I've heard you talked about is the idea that a lot of patients don't have their medications working properly not because they're on the wrong medication but they're not actually taking the right medicine at the right time. -Exactly! And this is a case where if your nebulizer are not nearby to provide us kind of any support, this type of machine had multimedia audio functionality to remind you to interact with the patients to help us to putting the wellness and caring to the home environment, which we think someday the home shall become the hub of care. So this is a part of Kaiser's strategy to extend our telemedicine and telehealthcare to our members and community. -And there's a lot of stuff we didn't get time to totally take a look at, but in this home environment, you have a number of other things. There's a videoconferencing unit. There's the Wii that you guys have used for fitness and as well as diagnostics, and then there's one more device I wanted to show. This is the Health Buddy and it's not perhaps as cutting edge in terms of technology but one of the things that it does allow is it's very simple, it's design for the perhaps the elderly or somebody, again, with limited vision, a little more technophobic. What does the Health Buddy allow? -Absolutely! So this is a device that will basically guide you through the self care management process. It will instruct you how to take your vital signs such as your blood pressure. Collecting and aggregate all the information then upload it and send it to a panel management tool which we can then monitor the patient remotely. The vendor has spent lot of time on human center design so you can see it's very easy to use. It has a clean and nice UI and just 4 buttons. Easy to operate. -Great! Thanks.

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