How can location technology save lives in medical emergencies?
It’s 2:08 AM in the ICU. A fatigued medical intern trips over a chair on his way to the ward. “Take the patient to room 205, and make it quick!” says the senior doctor in the ICU. “This patient needs an urgent CT scan before we can operate on his heart!”
The time is now 2:10 AM, and halfway down the hall, the resident gets a phone call from the senior doctor in charge of the CT scanner. “Where are you?!” the doctors barks at him. “The readings show the patient’s BP is falling, and we need to prep him quickly before he crashes!”
The resident looks at the signs on the wall. He made a wrong turn. He was supposed to go across from the cardiac ward, not down the hall. He now must try and find his way back, and he is running out of time.
This might be the beginning of a fictional story about a new medical intern trying to survive his first few months on the job. But it could also be a real situation in which many caregivers in a hospital environment find themselves.
Nurses, doctors, and caregivers know that in a hospital environment, timing can be the literal difference between life and death. Making the wrong turn, getting lost, or forgetting where you left that vital piece of medical equipment can be critical to a young doctor and staff – and especially to patients in life-threatening situations.
There is a dire need for a ubiquitous, accurate and reliable way to help new or visiting medical staff find their bearings in an unfamiliar hospital environment and for all staff to know exactly where a patient was at any given time. This was especially evident during COVID when getting patients suffering from respiratory difficulties to respirators and ECMO machines. This is where location technology comes in. Hospitals need a technology that can eliminate mistakes due to fatigue, carelessness, unfamiliarity, or forgetfulness. They need an accurate location technology that can help medical personnel, doctors, nurses, and patients instantly know where to find the person, object, or service they are looking for.
This would be tremendously useful not only for hospitals but also for a multitude of fields and services. There is demand for such a technology that works both indoors and outdoors and is not affected by arbitrary conditions, such as cloud overcast or ambient light conditions.
For example, such location technology would allow firefighters, caregivers, police, evacuation teams, among others the tools necessary for effective care, evacuation and handling. It would reduce response times, maximize efficiency, and provide a framework in which more lives could be saved, and individuals’ wellbeing could be optimized.
From natural disasters to viral outbreaks, the need for a location technology that can accurately and reliably guide, assist, direct, and monitor is apparent.
This is what we are working on at Deeyook.
Written by David Pollack, Director of Product management at Deeyook