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How smart AI solutions relieve the burden on nursing staff and optimise care processes

People who are in care facilities with physical impairments often lie in bed. They are kept safe with a bed rail so that they can move around in bed without the danger of falling out of bed in the process. The nursing staff must keep a close eye on these patients so they can intervene quickly if someone does try to climb out. The person could fall and injure themselves in their attempt. Artificial intelligence (AI) solutions can take over observation, sound the alarm quickly and drastically reduce the burden on staff as a result. And using AI creates a number of advantages for the patients, too.

The acid test for nursing staff

Nursing staff are more than familiar with the challenge of providing inpatient or outpatient care for geriatric patients: physical impairments prevent them from being able to move with a full range of motion. Unfortunately, in an already precarious staffing situation, nursing staff are also often confronted with time-consuming monitoring tasks on top of their regular nursing tasks: when should a person receiving care be re-positioned, that is, moved regularly and turned on their side so that they aren’t lying in a painful position and develop a bedsore, which can sometimes be quite serious? But when does this re-positioning cause the person to become confused, restless and uncomfortable? When is an alternating pressure mattress appropriate and when is a bed rail?

These questions not only need to be clarified, but also require constant checking and monitoring. The bed rail increases the fall height from the bed by another 40 centimetres and gives many patients reason to pull themselves up on it. This may have fatal consequences for them – such as falls and/or injuries. Nursing staff are left to deal with this burden alone – especially in times when, due to the pandemic, relatives are not allowed to provide support in inpatient care facilities.

How artificial intelligence can provide concrete support and relief

Have you ever thought about what a relief it would be for nursing staff everywhere to have these procedural, physical and even emotional challenges (because a patient who needs a bed rail is rarely happy about it) taken away from them by something that could provide support in making medical decisions? Or how much more relaxed nursing stations would be if nurses didn’t have to check every room to make sure a patient wasn’t trying to climb over the bed rail? Artificial intelligence can lend a helping hand here.

By using AI, patients would only be re-positioned when they really needed to be. Bed rails would only be fitted when they really needed to be. Plus, patients wouldn’t be even more confused, irritated and put in unfamiliar situations or have their privacy repeatedly disturbed by constant checks.

The benefits of artificial intelligence in this area of care provision

Benefits for patients

  • No more spontaneous visits from people who quickly dash into the room and confuse them. The data can support decisions on extended re-positioning measures.
  • Invasion of privacy is reduced to a minimum. Fewer (extra) paths in the care routine.
  • Their own safety is increased to the maximum.
  • Measures are only taken when really necessary.
  • Better bedsore and fall prevention
  • Fewer cables, bed rails and unnecessary re-positioning measures

Benefits for nursing staff

  • Less time needed for monitoring – more time for care.
  • Less stress through shared responsibility and objectified information.
  • Support in emergency situations and quick information
  • Fewer cables, bed rails and unnecessary re-positioning measures

Intelligent camera solutions are a technical necessity

The AI solution is based on the use of cameras filming patients. adesso is researching real-time medical video analysis. The method is based on a smart camera system and offers a simple, (data) secure and clever solution. The system detects the movements of the patient in the context of whether they are moving sufficiently. The whole process is anonymous. Is there a risk of bedsores developing or falling out of bed? If there is, the system sounds an alarm. Spinal movements that happen under the covers or behind a piece of furniture, for example, are also calculated. The system can compare the results with other information and, for example, include the patient’s previous illnesses (such as diabetes) in the assessment.

In this way, medical and nursing assistants are provided with an assessment as well as an alarm system that supports them and at the same time improves patient care and safety. It’s important to mention that the system is not able to identify the patient, the nurse or a third person. This data remains in the camera housing and ‘decays’ in real time, making stealing the camera a pointless exercise.

In the future, there will be many other possible applications for this technology: these types of camera image can already be used to measure fever, breathing and heartbeat, but it will still be some time before it can be used in standard care. The technology is already available, and we would love to discuss it with you – and take the next steps.

Contact me:

Picture Thorsten  Hagemann

Author Dr. Thorsten Hagemann

Thorsten Hagemann works as a Senior Business Developer in the Line of Business Health.

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