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Day: June 13, 2007

Surgical Sponge Counting System Gets FDA Approval

ClearCount Medical Solutions announced that they received FDA approval its RFID-based SmartSponge System for use (press release – pdf). This is the world’s first RFID system that detects and counts surgical sponges and towels during surgical procedures.” Mr. Palmer continued, “With an estimated 3,000 – 5,000 incidents a year, retained surgical sponges are a considerable problem. The SmartSponge™ System can improve patient safety and efficiency by alerting staff when there is a missing sponge.” ClearCount has a recently improved return on investment due to the draft CMS rules for reimbursement for 2008 where they will no longer reimburse hospitals for preventable adverse events. Number 3 on the list is, “objects left in after surgery.” Pictured right is the ClearCount tag. You can read more about ClearCount...

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Mirth: the Open Source Interface Engine On Steroids

Software is in the midst of substantial change. The single vendor solution model is braking down, both because the level of automation in hospitals is starting to exceed the ability of any “single application” to address it (not to mention the ability of a vendor to cobble one together through acquisitions), and IT architectures like SOA and web services are making middleware a natural solution for enterprise-wide services (think Emergin and event management). Likewise it seems that every new application has an engine for this and an engine for that – rules engines, messaging engines, interface engines, positioning engines – geez, they're everywhere. As the proliferation of software engines, or “enginification” continues, the value inherent in an application rises from the application code itself to the intellectual property that's embodied in the definition and configuration of the underlying engines. Thus the foundation of clinical information systems (FDA regulated or otherwise) is increasingly based on these (almost) commodity engines that drive most of the key features in applications. And as engines become more prevalent, they are increasingly available as open source software. A major portion of medical device connectivity is software. Due to the lack of interoperability standards, not only must vendors network enable their devices, but they must provide server and client applications – often at considerable cost. A the same time, much of a server or client is...

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