A recent study carried out for the European Economic and Social Committee under the topic “How the Digital Transformation can put humans at the centreof robotics and automation” highlights the OR4.0 project, subsequently named the ORvital solution.
Digital Transformation is a reality, notwithstanding the fact some fields or wards have been much easier to implement than others. An unstoppable transformation driven by the great potential to transform the world and the way we live our daily lives, we have run into a Pandemic that has made this need for change even more evident, especially in more sensitive areas like Health. An industry that simply cannot be left behind.
In this respect, the European Union has for years been supporting the use of advanced technology in all sectors so that no one is left without the full benefits that it can offer.
An example of this is the latest study carried out by the companies Ab.acus and Wise Angle for the European Economic and Social Committee under the title: “How Digital Transformation can put the human being at the centre of robotics and automation”. A document with study cases in different areas of society, including health.
It is precisely in this area that human-centred digital transformation has shown to be the way forward, as shown through the case of the Vall d’Hebron Hospital together with MYSPHERA’s IoT-RTLS solution.
Below is an extract from the study highlighting the capacity of process optimization and its remarkable results. Moreover, the great human factor stands out, not only improving patient care but also accompanying patients throughout their experience, allowing families to participate in the process and facilitating the work of professionals.
Among the vast amount of innovations introduced, a Real Time Location System (RTLS) for patients and assets – designed and developed by MYSPHERA in the frame of the H2020 OR4.0 project – has helped to digitalize the surgical process. RTLSs are used to automatically identify and track the location of objects or people in real time, usually within a building or other delimited area. Wireless tags are attached to objects or worn by people, and in most RTLS, fixed landmarks receive wireless signals from the tags to determine their location. Tags and fixed reference points can be transmitters, receivers, or both, resulting in numerous possible technology combinations.
By launching tasks and alert messages and thus automatizing the process and securely identifying patients, medical equipment and their location, this system ensures a more stable and safer process and a much better communication between all the professionals involved. Depending on how the patient pathway evolves (provided by the RTL system) specific tasks are initiated e.g. Operating Room (OR) cleaning, patient transport and family’s information system (Virtual waiting room project) thus improving the whole workflow as well as increasing patients’ and professionals’ safety and satisfaction. The general hospital Surgical Block (with 19 ORs) has been the first pilot of this innovative solution that is being extended to the remaining three surgical blocks (which contain 30 ORs).
RTLS used as a tool to digitalize the OR and patients’ pathway is an innovative solution, not yet frequently used in hospitals, that ensures the stability, safety and quality of the OR process. Surgery is the core business of a hospital and an intensive production area.
Therefore, all improvements made in the OR process are key to both patients and professionals and contribute heavily to the overall performance of the block as testified by the decreased number of surgeries cancelled or rescheduled and the improvement in efficiency and logistics indicators. As a consequence, the hospital has seen a huge increase of the number of the surgical interventions performed (+15%).
The measurement of such improvement has been made possible based on the availability of more precise and reliable information and the definition of a set of specific indicators and the introduction of an in-depth monitoring systems that has allowed to quickly identify those parts of the process that were inefficient or too time consuming and thus suitable for improvements.
Furthermore, the overall DT process, combining the two strands SmartCare and SmartProcess, has also stimulated a rethinking of any function and process happening in the hospital.
Finally, from the technological supply side, the solution co-created by MYSPHERA in collaboration with HUVH has been further deployed and is currently being rolled out across different countries (e.g., Spain, Portugal, France, Belgium, UK), thus having a decisive impact on the future and direction of the company.