Asia Pacific (APAC), Global Politics, Japan, Software Programs

Japan Hospitals to Monitor Patients With Smartphones

Soon, patients in Japanese hospitals may be monitored 24/7 using smartphones.

That is according to a new proposal recently announced by Japanese IT giant NEC. The new system, called as the Application Platform for Healthcare, will primarily focus on the concept of using smartphones to monitor hospital patients via wireless video feed. The system will be offered and catered to medical institutions nationwide towards the end of October.

Traditionally, nurse call systems are often made of pre-installed communications equipment that is simply set up throughout the medical establishment. If medical attention is required, users are to speak through the comms units, and a nurse on standby will arrive to assess the situation. The Application Platform for Healthcare, in terms of active monitoring, is fundamentally the same, but is significantly different in that the assessment can be done before the nurse even takes a step towards the room.

If for example, a patient calls for attention, the system can easily show a live video feed of the patient wirelessly through the smartphone. Aside from visual data, the system can also coordinate and synchronize with other existing monitoring equipment to provide the on-call nurse with the appropriate data, which may be critically necessary to quickly determine the best course of action for the patient.

NEC stresses that the system can be a very important tool during medical emergencies, where each second counts in saving a patient’s life. Instead of knowing what to do after visiting the room, the nurse can assess the situation beforehand to prevent any unnecessary complications. On certain situations, the system can even provide ample allowance to prepare the necessary equipment as the nurse or medical professional heads towards the patient’s room. When necessary, the system can also be integrated in a standard nurse call system, with nurse calls directly sending alert notifications to any system-connected smartphone.

The Application Platform for Healthcare will be available in single OS/database/software packages. Base price starts from an equivalent price of $82,000, with the complete system to be offered around $140,000 per establishment.