26 October 2020 | Opinion
An opinion piece by Rachel Coxon, Vice President, Barco Healthcare, APAC.
Photo Credit: Barco Healthcare, APAC
Diagnostic displays and other medical imaging technologies have taken on a greater importance in hospitals during the pandemic as medical professionals work tirelessly to combat COVID-19. The daily interactions with countless patients, a stressful work atmosphere and long hours all contributed to news of healthcare worker infections across the region as hospitals strained to meet the demand and provide enough personal protective equipment (PPE) for staff.
At the height of the virus transmission earlier this year, AI-powered systems and digital radiology equipment used in elective surgeries were redeployed to identify and triage serious coronavirus cases that required urgent care. Technology was also used to manage patients with less serious medical conditions, who were at other facilities or at home, with online consultations. This shift toward community-based care for less severe conditions is expected to expand in a post pandemic environment so that hospitals can be reserved for more complex procedures and life-threatening health situations.
Along with empowering medical professionals in saving lives, sealed, easy to clean technologies can also be helpful in limiting infections from cross contamination. As new information about COVID-19 emerges, the National Environment Agency (NEA) issued new guidelines to reduce virus transmission that reinforce wiping down all surfaces with an effective disinfectant. Of course, routine hand washing, changing gloves and other precautions can prevent disease transmissions, but medical professionals still encounter surfaces that harbour germs. With viruses like COVID-19 capable of living on surfaces for up to three days and the number of personnel who access it, computer monitors and displays are significant sources of contaminates. As a result, hospital enterprises are seeking new displays and other hardware with a sealed design so that it is simpler to clean and sterilise.
These technologies will help doctors see more patients per day and cater to those who require medical help efficiently and diagnose accurately.
Healthcare professionals are the first line of defence in fighting this pandemic, which is why hospitals need to be proactive in providing essential tools to help them save lives, and in ensuring their safety. Technologies that are engineered to help eliminate transmission of illnesses protect and empower the professionals who continue to put their lives at risk to save others.