Robert Scoble, Microsoft's technical evangelist, wrote recently about a recent hospital visit. In this post, he describes what he saw at Overlake Hospital (he does not mention the hospital, Overlake's just a guess). He's got some great observations. One is the need for medical device connectivity, another is the highly mobile nature of patients and hospital workers.
Connectivity has been transforming medical devices for more than 20 years -- most vendors started with the advent of the personal computer, HP started out using their trusty mini computer. Devices presently getting the connectivity treatment are infusion pumps. A broader integration trend is evolving around medical device alarm management and surviellance. Device and nurse call vendors are working with companies like Emergin, Vocera and Radianse to provide the kind of automation and surveillance that Scoble talks about. Some vendors, like Sensitron, are tying together disparet devices into coherent systems that deliver better care and improved staff productivity.
It's good to be reminded of all the opportunities we have as an industry for further improvement.