Mobile Computer Vision’s Critical Role in Addressing Healthcare Trends

Healthcare costs have doubled in the past 40 years and the world’s older population is set to double by 2050. Sustainable healthcare is a global priority. Add demanding regulation and the increasing need for medical supply traceability, and it’s not surprising that the industry is exploring ways to change and improve how it operates.

The growing consensus in the healthcare community is that the ability to collect and share accurate, situational, and verifiable data is a key to improving patient safety, driving efficiency, controlling costs, and meeting global regulatory standards. Mobile computer vision technology can play an important role in helping healthcare organizations capture and connect data across systems, teams and processes, to deliver better patient care and regulatory compliance, while keeping costs low.

Less paperwork, more time with patients with mobile computer vision

A 2016 Survey of America’s Physicians, Practice Patterns & Perspectives reported physicians spend 21% of their time on nonclinical paperwork, the equivalent of 168,000 physician FTEs not engaged in clinical activities. Mobile computer vision software helps to address the challenges created by too much paperwork, too many errors, and staff working in silos. Mobile computer vision software enables barcode scanning, text and object recognition for clinical and non-clinical applications and delivers real-time insights through augmented reality (AR) overlay.  Healthcare professionals are increasingly using barcode scanning on mobile devices to eliminate human error in critical processes and streamline workflows. The combination of computer vision and mobile devices can ultimately free up time to provide higher-quality care for patients.


Reliable performance is non-negotiable

Deploying Scandit mobile computer vision-powered apps gives healthcare workers the flexibility and robust barcode scanning performance essential in healthcare.  It helps create truly patient-centric care for example by enabling workers to collect and share patient information outside the hospital, supporting the move to less disruptive and expensive home-based care. Displaying real-time information about patients, medication and supplies on device screens with an AR overlay is a way to inject speed and efficiency into healthcare workflows. The accuracy and immediacy of the available data ensures both high-quality care, patient safety and regulatory adherence.


The financial case

To achieve the economies of scale needed to improve patient safety, compliance and operational efficiency, many healthcare organizations are using mobile technology to deliver automated, cheaper and safer patient interactions. Mobile devices can replace expensive, purpose-built devices, computers on wheels (COWs) or even desktops at the nurses station. For quite some time, the healthcare industry has used barcodes to manage patient tracking, specimens for analysis, sterile fluids, and medication. Mobile computer vision enables healthcare workers to manage these tasks and get instant access to patients’ identity, treatment, and medication history using the smartphones they already carry. When healthcare organizations bring smartphone barcode scanning mobile apps into the process, they leverage the simplicity, flexibility and low cost of smart devices to automate care procedures and make healthcare more patient-centric. 

Mobile barcode scanning supports healthcare’s shift to a more cost-effective model based on the quality and outcomes of medical interventions at the point of care.  Mobile devices help by capturing situational data on the spot to create a joined-up, shared view of a patient’s journey through the system. This also enables regulatory compliance and makes supply chains safer with accurate, real-time data tracked throughout a healthcare system. 


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Mobile computer vision supports patient-centric care

The simple process of scanning a patient’s wristband enables clinicians to access digital workflows, including patient medical records and dosage advice, and to confirm when meds have been administered or blood samples dispatched. Equip staff with an app enabling barcode scanning and AR to let them easily book beds, discharge patients, track and trace specimens and medical equipment whilst on-the-go, and eliminate the burden of accurately managing paper-based processes. Patients are noticing the difference, too. 


In a 2019 SOTI Consumer Survey,  75% of patients indicated that physicians who integrate mobile technology within their practice provide a faster and more convenient healthcare experience.


Driving down healthcare administration costs with mobile barcode scanning

Advanced scanning on smart devices supports regulatory compliance,  whether that’s authenticating medication or verifying a patient’s identity. Clinicians can track assets in real-time and manage stock inventories 40% faster with Scandit-enabled apps (using MatrixScan) releasing time to focus on patient care. Pharmacists can do just-in-time stock replenishment: scanning inventory in real-time, like drugs, blood, equipment, and consumables (e.g., sterile gloves, bandages, antiseptic wipes. etc.), reducing errors and boosting efficiency. The opportunity cost of not digitizing healthcare administration cannot be overlooked. A McKinsey study prepared in partnership with the German Managed Care Association (BMC) suggests that up to €34 billion in potential value could have been realized in 2018 if the German healthcare system had been fully digitized.


Advancing Healthcare One Mobile Scan at a Time

In this whitepaper, you’ll see many of the regular healthcare workflows that mobile computer vision is improving. Download the whitepaper and find out: 

  • How inexpensive smart devices equipped with visual, intuitive software solutions reduce human error in regular tasks like patient & medication verification, with little user training. 
  • Why the ability to capture multiple barcodes in a single scan and use AR overlays to access real-time data helps improve systems like inventory management and pharma distribution. 
  • How to improve patient care and compliance by providing consistent real-time information to all workers involved in the patient journey.


If you’d like to explore how Scandit could help your healthcare organization, contact us, we’d love to talk.