A Better Bedside Manner

Posted By Myriam Semery
Windows Embedded BG Lead

According to the World Health Organization, France has the top-rated healthcare system in the world. Part of this can be attributed to our belief that all citizens should have access to quality medical care, but also the government’s commitment to fostering innovation and economic development in the healthcare system via agencies such as Eurasante.

Two companies pushing the innovation envelope in the area of patient care are Groupe Scotler and Econocom. They joined forces to address the need to provide doctors and nurses with easy access to patient medical information, as well as improve the comfort of patients during their hospital stay. Scotler brought its expertise building customized software and hardware solutions; Econocom contributed its years of working as a system integrator and solution provider. The result is Care and Comfort.

A medical and multimedia solution positioned right at the patient’s bedside, Care and Comfort is an intelligent system that merges the entertainment world for patients with the medical world for health professionals. On a touch screen running Windows Embedded Enterprise, patients have access to all the entertainment they would have in the comfort of their own home, including television, radio, ebooks, games and an array of apps. This helps ease some of the boredom and isolation that some patients experience. And when sharing a room with other patients, Care and Comfort makes it possible for each patient to enjoy the program of their choice without having to compromise. Nurses and doctors can easily access the patient's medical records and utilize applications, such as a drawing application which can help the staff interact with the patient and explain complex procedures. The single sign-in system uses RFID to identify medical staff to ensure the protection of patient data.

One major advantage of an in-room installation over a mobile device like a tablet is that it offers this network and data access even in the rooms of patients with communicable diseases or compromised immune systems, where it is not possible to bring other devices into the room. Additionally, a dedicated terminal is more secure and cost-effective, since the hospital doesn’t have to maintain WiFi, which can become expensive when downloading and streaming video content.

Scotler chose to build their solution on Microsoft architecture (client and server) because of its ease of use, familiarity security, and the ability of their IT staff to create and manage the system using their existing skills. Supported and guaranteed architecture: The touch-enabled bedside terminal is running on Windows Embedded Enterprise and using Windows Media Player to manage content. The patient’s data is securely stored in a SQL Server database powered by Windows Server. And the solution they offer is fully automated. It automatically updates everything (OS, portal, third-party application, etc), which ensures that the system is up to date.

They approached this project not as an IT project, but as a completely new healthcare experience. They wanted to create a system that would be easy to implement and use for staff and patients. It is critical that doctors and nurses are able to access data in a matter of seconds to provide optimal care, especially during a medical emergency.

Care and Comfort is currently deployed in hospitals in Calais and Lille in Northern France, with the goal of improving and expanding to other hospitals in the future. Feedback from patients and nurses alike has been overwhelmingly positive.

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