A new series of mobile computing device launched by Motorola is all set to revolutioniseÂ the way enterprises work and do business. While these new devices, launched recently inÂ the Asian market, are offering a wide variety of mobility solutions across industry verticals,Â healthcare organisations that are looking to create a sophisticated enterprise-level mobile work
environment has much in store from this.
eHEALTH caught up with Ramesh Sundaraman,Â Head-Mobile Computing Business, Motorola toÂ get a low down on potential application of theseÂ devices for healthcare industry.
What are the potential applications ofÂ Motorola FR series mobile computingÂ devices in hospitals and healthcareÂ enterprises?
Over the last one year we have beenÂ doing pilot projects with our new FRÂ series devices in several hospitals. WeÂ have learnt from our experience inÂ deploying mobility solutions there areÂ about 24 different areas where a hospitalÂ can potentially mobilise its operations,Â such as – bedside monitoring ofÂ patients, pharmacy inventory, medicineÂ administration, blood bank, operationsÂ and telemedicine.
We have already done significantÂ deployments in Thailand and HongÂ Kong where we have put togetherÂ Enterprise Wireless LAN for buildingÂ highly secured and effi cient networks.Â One of the main areas where suchÂ deployments are made is âassetÂ managementâ. To being with, hospitalsÂ were somewhat reluctant aboutÂ deploying mobility solutions for clinicalÂ operations; however, they later adoptedÂ the same, after realising its true value inÂ bringing superior work efficiency andÂ improving service quality.
How do you go about marketing yourÂ solutions? Is it only through IT vendorsÂ and SIs or do you also approachÂ hospitals on your own?
If a hospital already has an IT setup, weÂ would try to work with the vendor whoÂ deployed the solution at the first place.Â The reason being they are the ones whoÂ would best understand the hospitalâsÂ requirements. Our role is to extendÂ their IT infrastructure to offer mobilityÂ solutions. However, in an absolutelyÂ new setup everything has to be doneÂ from the scratch. For the value additionÂ that we do, we try and understand theÂ needs of our client; however, for actualÂ installation and operationalising theÂ solution we do seek help of the ITÂ partners.
We also approach hospitalsÂ independently to understand theirÂ problems and sometimes to explainÂ them the benefits of our solution. WeÂ also update them on latest technologies.Â For instance, many understand wirelessÂ technology and barcode scanning,Â but very few understand enterprise mobility.
Do you evaluate applications of HMSÂ vendors to ascertain workabilityÂ and compatibility of your devices/Â solutions?
If a hospital is already having an ITÂ vendor then not much work is requiredÂ in this respect. It would just be an issueÂ to check for technical compatibility.Â However, if the customer is installingÂ HMS for the fi rst time then there isÂ lot to be done. In such cases, we doÂ validate the software from all genericÂ requirements to ensure that it worksÂ well with all our devices.
With so many solution providers, healthÂ IT market today seems to be highly Â fragmented.Â What are your comments?Â
It is indeed a big challenge for usÂ because almost every hospital isÂ deploying a different package.Â Nowadays, even different branches ofÂ the same hospital group would haveÂ different HMS packages. At our end,Â we try to enroll those partners who areÂ engaged with us, but we also try to enrollÂ some big players offering solutions. ForÂ instance, IBM is our worldwide partnerÂ and Wipro is our Indian partner whoÂ provides solutions not just in healthÂ care but across many other verticals. IÂ hope we all would gradually evolve inÂ the process.
What will be your comments in terms ofÂ long term cost advantage for hospitalsÂ for using mobility solutions?
There are two aspects to it – one is theÂ return-on-investment, and other is theÂ total-cost-of-ownership. As regardsÂ the former, it can be readily realisedÂ as the enterprise spends sometimeÂ working on the mobile platform. TheÂ work effi ciency, performance andÂ service quality can be dramaticallyÂ improved over a relatively shortÂ period of time. In terms of the Â later,we have the same architecture acrossÂ our product line which ensures theÂ availability of all products. Itâs aÂ very important aspect because oursÂ are consumer-based devices whichÂ canât be phased out, as enterprises Â make a long-term investmenton them. We also ensure stabilityÂ of the platform and its reliability by Â providing superior services to ourÂ customers.
About MotorolaÂ FR68 & FR6000
Motorolaâs FR68 Enterprise DigitalÂ Assistant (EDA) and the FR6000Â rugged handheld computers (currentlyÂ available only in the Asia-Pacifi cÂ markets) are full-function 3.5G HSDPA/Â WAN network mobile computers thatÂ offer simultaneous voice and high speedÂ data connectivity, and GPSÂ navigation. The devices also offerÂ expanded levels of enterprise-class
features in a highly compact formÂ factor and ergonomics best suited toÂ the needs of Asian users. AdditionalÂ functionalities include high resolutionÂ 3.2 mega pixel auto-focus color camera,Â and optical character recognition (OCR)Â functionality in the FR68, and 1D laserÂ scanner, plus additional connectivityÂ through wireless LAN (WLAN),Â BluetoothÂ® and IrDA. PowerfulÂ computing capabilities enabledÂ through the Marvell XScale PXA312Â 624MHz processor and MicrosoftÂ®Â WindowsÂ® Mobile 6.1 operating systemÂ in the devices ensure ease of integrationÂ with existing enterprise infrastructure,Â enhanced security features, aÂ fl exible development platform andÂ improved mobile messaging â all in aÂ single device.
CASE STUDY: The Sir Run Run Shaw Hospital in China Saves More Lives withÂ Motorola Mobility Solution
The Sir Run Run Shaw Hospital is a modern hospital ranked amongst the bestÂ in China and co-managed by the Medical Centre at Loma Linda University inÂ California. Realising the fact that a hospitalâs information system is what allowsÂ them to deliver the highest level of service, it undertook the task of upgradingÂ and modernising its IT infrastructure by deploying Motorolaâs high-performanceÂ wireless medical system that can integrate its existing information systems andÂ bring seamless, real-time connectivity across the organisation.
The solution includes WS5100 wireless switches, AP300 network antennae andÂ MC50 handheld mobile terminals. The WS5100 provides powerful, centralisedÂ intelligence and management capabilities and the MC50 is an enterprise digitalÂ assistant combined with barcode scanning capabilities. It features advanced dataÂ capture, fl exible voice and data communication capabilities.
With wireless LAN covering the entire hospital the medical staff can nowÂ access the information system from anywhere in the building. Doctors and Â urses just need to scan a patientâs barcode wristband with the MC50 whichÂ identifi es them immediately and retrieves their medical history automatically.Â The medical and nursing staff can now work beside the patientâsÂ bedside, giving them more attention while at the same time ensuring safeÂ and accurate treatment. Doctors can now verify patientâs medical information realÂ time, right by the patientsâ bedside and take prompt decisions based on patientâsÂ immediate needs. Interestingly, some of these decisions were actually life-saving.Â In addition, it helps hospital staff to achieve true mobility – drug management,Â sample collection, blood transfusion tests, asset and material management,Â remote patient monitoring and nurse calls can be deployed wirelessly, increasingÂ the effi ciency rate of many common activities.
From a patientâs point of view, once the admission procedures have beenÂ completed the system notifi es the relevant doctor in real time, allowing for theÂ efficient scheduling of consultations or surgery. If additional consultations areÂ required, the wireless medical system provides an extremely convenient wayÂ of fi xing the appointment. The MC50 mobile terminal instantaneously sendsÂ the information to the relevant administrative offi ce, which will arrange forÂ the appointment via the wireless network. In comparison to the conventionalÂ handwritten consultation slip, the electronic consultation slip greatly improvesÂ the effi ciency of hospital staff.
ROI & User Feedback
âA cutting edge management model and modern information managementÂ system have greatly augmented the competitiveness of the hospital. TheÂ patient satisfaction level has reached 97%. Amongst similar hospitals in China,Â Sir Run Run Shaw Hospital has the highest bed turnover rate and the lowestÂ antibiotic usage rate. The average number of hospitalisation days is now only 8.95âÂ Said He Chao.