Andrew Boyd

Author Archives: Andrew Boyd

IDG Contributor Network: When medical alarm standards fail patients and health professionals

Healthcare facilities are heavily regulated environments. From electronic health records to how fire doors in a hospital need to be installed, many different organizations and government agencies regulate the healthcare industry.Medical alarms are one aspect of healthcare that is heavily standardized. The IV pump will “ding” if a tube becomes kinked. And because of movies with melodramatic scenes in the hospital, most people are aware of the heartbeat in the background beeping over the actors’ voices.What patients, healthcare providers and family members may not realize is all alarms are required to meet an international standard. The international standard for medical electrical equipment (IEC 60601-1-8) from the International Standards Organization (ISO) specifies performance and alarm categories and sound specifications. All manufacturers design and build to the standard for their individual devices. The standard was created to help make the alarms discernible from other sounds in the hospital, but the device manufacturer will not know which alarm is most important, so a healthcare professional needs to be able to hear all of the alarms.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

IDG Contributor Network: Will programmers in health IT have to take the Hippocratic Oath?

In the health IT development hype cycle, a number of novel technologies have been announced and marketed. One example is the Qualcomm Tricorder Xprize, which is a competition designed to encourage developers to build a device that will diagnosis and self-treat a number of chronic conditions without the need for a physician. This prize is from the same organization (Xprise) that tried to encourage suborbital flight from commercial spacecraft companies.Technology is so pervasive in healthcare that books have been written about “The Internet of Health Things” (Kvedar J.C., The Internet of Healthy Things) that describe the wonderful new sensors patients can wear and measure their health every day. Even within older data collection paradigms, the healthcare area is talking about patient-reported outcomes and how we need to incorporate this data with the electronic health record to help improve patient care.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here