The initiative was initially supposed to be launched in September, but coronavirus sped things up.
What will a hospital room look like in 2030? And an ICU Unit? The Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer offered several ideas in an online event on Tuesday, presenting its “Patient Room of the Future.” The special environment was created to test, train and combine new tools with the cooperation of both those who developed them and the medical staff that is eventually to employ them, with one notable point: for many technologies introduced, the future is already here.
The initiative was initially supposed to be launched in September. However, the coronavirus crisis not only accelerated the project itself, but also the implementation of many innovative systems and devices that have already proven to be crucial for treating coronavirus patients at Sheba.
“We had to think of different environments, a normal room, a ICU room, patients at home and so on,” Sheba Chief Information Officer Shimi Ernst, who focused on the IT aspect of the room pointed out.
Ernst added that they considered several categories: among others, communication between the doctors themselves, between medical staff and patients and patients and families; medical devices to enable the patients to check themselves and send the data to the control unit; and AI technology to predict a deterioration in the patient’s condition.
“My advice to my team was to open their imagination,” he added.
The event presented the medical journey of a virtual COVID-19 patient assisted with several cutting-edge technologies. This way, 40-year-old Joel Cohen hospitalized with a relatively mild form of COVID-19 was monitored through an app on his cell phone that analyzed his voice to understand if his symptoms were getting worse. When they did, the doctor spoke to him through a little robot by company Meditemi – which also allowed the patient to video-call his family – and asked him to check his fever and heartbeat through a telemedicine device by Tyto Care. They both allowed to minimize the staff’s exposure to infection.
Later on, when the virtual patient is transferred to the ICU, another system placed under his mattress developed by EarlySense allowed the medical staff to monitor his respiratory rate, while a special system analyzed the patient’s urine parameters and a AI program parsed all the data and predicted a deterioration in his condition. When he was finally ventilated, a ventilation expert guided the nurse to control the device through VR glasses.
“The combination of the work of all our teams provided us with the opportunity to look into the future in a manner that is very active and dynamic,” Prof. Amitai Ziv, Director of Sheba Rehabilitation Hospital and of MSR – the Israel Center for Medical Simulation said during the event. “The advantage is that we could bring here hardware, software and healthcare professionals and try out via simulation environment those technologies, check if they solve problems, provide feedback to companies and healthcare providers.”
The panelists highlighted that many of the technologies, developed by both young and more season companies, as well as by fruitful cooperation with the defense industry and the IDF, were already used in Sheba or elsewhere before and they were brought together and combined to face the coronavirus emergency.
However, they stressed that much more work and many more opportunities and ideas lay ahead and the “Patient Room of the Future” will expand even more in the near future.