Monitoring the wellbeing of hospital patients
Modern healthcare uses technology to diagnose and treat illness in ways that were previously impossible. With an aging global population, the demands on healthcare systems continue to grow; and the need to deliver effective, yet non-intrusive hospital monitoring for in-patients with serious medical conditions can help to deliver a more effective and user-friendly hospital experience.
Shenzhen Mindray Bio-Medical Limited is a 20-year-old company with offices around the world. The company specialises in delivering high-quality medical devices to make healthcare more accessible, working in three business areas: medical imaging systems; in-vitro diagnostic products and patient monitoring.
Patient monitoring tracks the medical wellbeing of those in hospital suffering from serious complaints, for example heart problems, by alerting medical staff if their vital medical signs move outside certain thresholds, in which case immediate action can be taken. Often these patients need to be in hospital for some time, yet naturally they want to be as independent as possible, which is why wireless monitoring is so desirable.
Wireless patient monitoring necessitates the highest levels of reliability and effectiveness – reductions in connectivity or reliability, or wireless interference, can increase medical staff response times, exposing patients to harm.
Shenzen Mindray wanted to create an effective wireless monitoring system for use within hospitals, enabling patients to be safely and securely monitored 24 hours a day. To do so, the company needed the most reliable and effective wireless data transmitters and receivers on the market to integrate into the company’s range of patient monitoring products.
Shenzen Mindray turned to UK-based wireless specialists Wood & Douglas to provide an effective solution for patient monitoring. Wood & Douglas’ OEM ST and SR range of modules are radio transmitters and receivers that can be integrated into products to deliver highly reliable and cost-effective wireless data communications from point to point, conforming to and exceeding the requirements of EN 300 220.
The ST500 and SR500 range are housed in a robust screened enclosure to ensure performance and reliability in portable devices. Additionally, the radio transmitters are compact enough (around the size of a matchbox) to be integrated into a wearable device without patients being constantly aware that they were being monitored. This is important as vital signs can be affected by patients’ awareness of monitoring.
Shenzen Mindray required a significant volume of reliable wireless transmitters and receivers, but with a guarantee of quality. Because Wood & Douglas conducts all of its manufacturing in house, across three sites in the UK, the company was able to provide the volume of products with the required reliability, testing each product before shipping.
Integrated into Shenzen Mindray’s range of Vital Signs and Telemetry products, the Wood & Douglas modules provide a highly robust and reliable data communications channel between patients and a Central Monitoring System which is capable of monitoring up to 16 patients at the same time. The use of antenna diversity, whereby two antennas are used to improve the quality of the radio signal, effectively overcomes the high level of electronic and radio interference which may exist in a hospital environment, so that Shenzen Mindray can offer an exceptional level of communications reliability to hospitals around the world.
- Cost-effective and highly reliable radio transmitters and receivers
- ‘No fail’ reliability needed for medical applications
- Wireless modules needed to be easy to integrate into complex products, robust for portability and able to deliver data in complex radio environment
- High-volume products – requirement for more than 5000 reliable units