Great Ormond Street Hospital is looking at using the Internet of Things (IoT) more widely having already implemented several projects, according to Robert Bielen, IT apps manager at the hospital.
Bielen was speaking as part of a panel discussion at Computing's Internet of Things Business Summit in London today when he explained that the hospital is looking at how the IoT could achieve things already being done with software "but on a more granular database".
This includes fridges that can communicate with repair partners if they become too warm, but Bielen said that real IoT use cases involve 'things' that are much smaller and haven't really been thought about before. For example, an IP address on hospital beds to track where they go.
"With that data you could track the use of the operating theatres, and ensure that all hospital beds are being used," Bielen said.
There are numerous projects in development, including using computer games to improve medical care.
"We're working with a manufacturer that makes games, and they've got an Xbox game that we're using for neurology and physical therapy," he said.
"A child gets a game and has to move in particular ways, and we can measure how much movement actually happens in real time and the information comes into the clinicians.
"They can ensure that the child puts their hands on their head five times a day, for example, and we can track this. That's here right now and it's being implemented in a couple of other trusts."
Another project being worked on is fitting IoT technology into ambulances, although Bielen stopped short of giving specifics on these plans.
"We have difficulty getting information on patients when they are in transit from one hospital to another," he said.
"Currently there isn't anything built into an ambulance to explain what is happening during the journey from Cambridge Hospital to Great Ormond Street, for example."
The hospital appears to be ahead of the curve when it comes to using smart devices, which is pertinent given how the IoT is expected to be a major growth area in the technology industry this year.
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