4 Ways Smart Device-based Computer Vision Improves Patient Care

Even before the world was changed by Covid-19, the days of manually managing critical patient care workflows were coming to a close.

An increasing number of healthcare processes are now being digitized to ensure accuracy and portability. And the result is safer patient care and an improvement in outcome across the board.

Barcodes and alphanumeric codes have become the principal containers of information in virtually all aspects of healthcare. This ranges from identifying patients to administering medication and managing equipment and supplies.

Smartphones can scan barcodes faster and more flexibly

Until recently, healthcare enterprises have used dedicated scanners to capture and record digital information.

Advances in mobile computer vision technology have opened up opportunities for smart devices like smartphones, tablets, and wearables. They can now scan and capture barcodes. They can do it faster, more flexibly, and more reliably. And they are a less costly option than dedicated hardware scanners.

Computer vision software integrated into mobile apps can turn smart devices into powerful barcode and alphanumeric code scanning machines. In the hands of healthcare professionals, they offer clear, quantifiable advantages to the execution of healthcare workflows.

1. Computer vision software offers enterprise-grade barcode scanning performance

Scandit’s high-performance computer vision software can be integrated into virtually any app running on a camera-equipped smart device.

OurSDK is designed for enterprise-grade use with market-leading scan speeds and accuracy and is scalable to support large implementations.

Scandit’s SDK performs in challenging conditions and distances

Regardless of environmental conditions, computer vision software can quickly and accurately scan barcodes – even damaged or blurred codes – at a great variety of distances and angles.

Since the scanning is performed on a mobile device, the operator can go to the barcode and not the other way around. This combination of robustness and flexibility is unachievable with dedicated scanners.

It is also particularly important for healthcare professionals managing patient identification, medication administration, and specimen or sterile fluid bag collection.

2. Augmented reality gives unprecedented insight into healthcare workflow

Mobile computer vision-enabled smart devices can offer augmented reality (AR) functionality. This reads the barcode and overlays on-screen information over the actual image, something traditional barcode scanners cannot provide.

It can give healthcare professionals access to critical data about medication, patient histories, lab workups, or any asset in its most usable form. This dramatically reduces the incidence of errors and increases patient safety.

MatrixScan with AR simultaneously provides on-screen information on multiple items

Scandit’s computer vision software can also offer MatrixScan. This feature allows any camera-equipped smart device to scan multiple barcodes at once.

This functionality is particularly useful when combined with augmented reality. It can superimpose on a device screen important information like specific patient instructions, inventory levels, and expiry dates of medical supplies. Across a range of items at once.

Healthcare professionals can leverage MatrixScan and AR to perform a wide variety of tasks.

Healthcare professionals can leverage MatrixScan and AR to perform a wide variety of tasks.

These include counting inventory, re-ordering medication, and checking the freshness and completeness of crash carts much faster than with traditional scanners. The time saved frees up healthcare professionals to focus more effort on patient care.

3. Smart-device-based barcode scanning is less expensive than dedicated scanners

Any smart device equipped with a built-in camera can be transformed into a high-performance data capture machine – even low-end devices.

Some enterprises simply make the mobile app available to employees who install it on their own smart devices and use it to perform critical healthcare workflows. In either case, the cost of acquiring these devices and loading the app is far less than using dedicated scanners.

ERS Medical, a provider of specialist patient transport and courier services to the National Health Service (NHS) and the wider UK healthcare sector has replaced its traditional PDAs. It is now using Scandit-powered smart devices to increase the speed and efficiency of the delivery of pathological specimen bags.

ERS Medical’s drivers were able to increase scan speeds by 50%

ERS Medical’s drivers were able to increase scan speeds by 50%, enabling them to move more quickly through their pick-up-and-drop-off schedule. Also, instead of paying £800 for each new PDA, ERS Medical spends just £100 for each smartphone.

They also report the cost to repair or replace broken smartphones is much lower. The cost savings here can be applied to improving patient care.

4. Mobile Computer Vision is aligning with GS1

Scandit is aligning with GS1— the global supply chain standards organization — to make healthcare and supply chain management more efficient through barcode scanning.

operating theatre management, pharmacy/pathology, bed management, observations, medicines administration, non-clinical task workers (porters), inventory management, and proof of delivery

Today, trusts and suppliers worldwide depend on Scandit’s technology to create and power mobile apps for crucial enterprise workflows. These include operating theatre management, pharmacy/pathology, bed management, observations, medicines administration, non-clinical task workers (porters), inventory management, and proof of delivery.

One example is Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust in the UK. It saw a 95% improvement in cost and time efficiency when it implemented Scandit software in 114 departments as part of the UK Government’s Scan-4-Safety initiative.


Conclusion

By any calculation, using mobile computer vision-enabled smart devices to perform critical healthcare workflows is a smarter option than using a traditional scanner. The barcode is the world’s universal information container. While virtually everyone uses a smart device and is familiar with mobile apps.

And the adoption of mobile computer vision on healthcare is an easy decision to make when you factor in the additional benefits. Examples include robust technology, a lower TCO, and Scandit’s alignment with GS1, as well as the proven records of success among Scandit’s customers in the healthcare industry.

Healthcare enterprises can apply the proven savings in cost and time to improving patient care and increasing overall satisfaction.

Empower Your Healthcare Team With Mobile Scanning Today

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

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