Mobile Computer Vision’s Critical Role in Addressing Healthcare Trends

COVID-19 has arguably forced more change on healthcare over the first seven months of 2020, than the sector has faced in the last 40 years.

And a lot has happened since 1980. For a start, healthcare costs have doubled.

This rate of change is an ongoing trend. For example, the world’s older population is set to double by 2050. Challenges like this would have ensured healthcare stays a global priority.

But COVID-19 has thrown this into stark focus. So as a result, it’s unsurprising the industry is exploring ways to change and improve how it operates.

The ability to collect and share accurate, situational, and verifiable data is critical to improving patient safety, driving efficiency, controlling costs, and meeting global regulatory standards. On top of this, there is demanding regulation and the increasing need for medical supply traceability.

This is where mobile computer vision technology can help.

It can play a crucial role in helping healthcare organizations capture and connect data across systems, teams, and processes. All while delivering better patient care and regulatory compliance while keeping costs low.

Here are the ways computer vision and barcode scanning can help in your hospital in this difficult time.

Ways Healthcare providers can use smart devices to protect staff

Capturing and connecting data to digital systems to provide tracking is a key challenge faced by healthcare management organizations today.

The everyday smartphone, powered with Scandit barcode scanning, is one solution. It offers a low-cost, accessible way to automate care procedures while helping healthcare providers deliver patient care at scale.

This can also run off a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) strategy. Thus becoming an increasingly attractive solution to overcome the challenge of data capture and immediate access.

Ways it can help include:

  • Contactless patient identity management – a basic compliance requirement and critical with high-volume admissions.
  • Administer Medication Using a Timely and Accurate Approach.
  • Track Medication and Specimen Samples through the Healthcare Supply Chain.
  • Track Vital Medical Equipment – guarantees access to the right resources at the right time in the right place.
  • Order Medication for Faster and More Accurate Patient Care.

All of this can help reduce the burden on healthcare professionals. For more on these individual use cases see here. Below we look at other benefits and how it can be put in place.

Mobile computer vision reduces time-consuming paperwork

A 2016 Survey of America’s Physicians, Practice Patterns & Perspectives reported physicians spend 21% of their time on nonclinical paperwork. This is equivalent to 168,000 physician FTEs not engaged in clinical activities.

US physicians spend 21% of their time on non-clinical paperwork

Mobile computer vision software helps to address the challenges created by too much paperwork, too many errors, and staff working in silos. It can also enable:

  • Barcode scanning, text, and object recognition for clinical and non-clinical applications.
  • Real-time insights through augmented reality (AR), overlaying information directly onto the device screen.

Moreover, 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.

Flexible and robust barcode scanning performance in Healthcare

Deploying Scandit mobile computer vision-powered apps gives healthcare workers the flexibility and robust barcode scanning performance essential in healthcare.

It can create truly patient-centric care for example by helping workers collect and share patient information outside the hospital. Thus supporting the move to less disruptive and expensive home-based care.

Another way is to inject speed and efficiency into healthcare workflows. Real-time information about patients, medication and supplies can be displayed on device screens with an AR overlay.

The accuracy and immediacy of the available data ensures both high-quality care, patient safety and regulatory adherence.

Mobile devices can replace expensive purpose-built scanning devices

Many healthcare organizations are using mobile technology to deliver automated, cheaper, safer patient interactions. This achieves the economies of scale needed to improve patient safety, compliance, and operational efficiency. 

It is commonplace, in the healthcare industry , to manage patient tracking, specimens for analysis, sterile fluids, and medication with barcodes.

Mobile devices can replace expensive, purpose-built devices, computers on wheels (COWs), or even desktops at the nurses’ station.

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.

Build a shared view of the patient’s journey with mobile barcode scanning

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.

40% faster tracking assets and managing inventory with a Scandit-enabled app

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 and empowering healthcare workers – one mobile scan at a time

In this guide, you’ll see many of the regular healthcare workflows that mobile computer vision is improving.

Download the guide 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.

These are difficult times. There is no sign yet that the situation brought about by COVID-19 will be resolved anytime soon. Mobile barcode scanning and computer vision can empower clinical staff in terms of workflow, patient care, and giving them the protection they need.

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

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