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Furthermore, the various global challenges we are facing, such as the impact of demographic aging, is of particular concern to developing and developed countries. These conditions not only have a vast scope of influence, but are matters of concern for every social circle, individual, and family.
Medical institutions will be the first to bear the brunt of these challenges.
The Niche Location of Smart Care Development
Since the graying population is not necessarily sick, most of the time they do not have emergency medical needs, and they instead require long-term medical care services. This time of service is long-term, comprehensive, and requires professional medical services that are capably of immediately responding to patients.
Therefore to current medical care organizations and care service providers, this undertaking is a tremendous burden. Furthermore, when the ageing population begins to rapidly increase, it will be difficult for medical treatment and care providers to cope.
This is the niche location of smart care development. Using a combination of wireless technology, sensor components, mobile wearable devices, and cloud services, hospital and care centers will provide elderly people with smart care services that can immediately respond to patients at any location year-round. This will not only raise the quality of care, but also increase the service providers’ operational efficiency.
Unitech is a global provider of automatic identification and data capture (AIDC) technologies with over 30 years experience. They have clear insight into these kinds of requirements and collaborate with many hospitals and communities in order to make the smart care of the future into a reality today.
Unitech exhibited its smart hospital optimization program at Geriatric Care Asia 2015, which was held in November in Kaohsiung. They also have shared their technology and achievements on the industry trends forum in order to attract the attention of industry figures who are interested in developing smart care.
The main themes of Unitech's exhibition were the smart hospital optimization solution, and LIG care which is smart telemedical care system.
Smart Hospital Optimization Solution
Unitech's smart hospital optimization solution is a versatile and comprehensive system which integrates six smart control and management systems including a smart hospital energy management system, a nursing station control management platform, a smart lighting system, a scalable ward environment control system, a multifunction bedside care control platform, and mobile health care services. In addition, all of these services can be built according to different companies’ needs.
Taking smart ward environmental control as an example, it is a system that integrates digital addressable lighting interface (DALI) control with wireless technology, and it can monitor all of the equipments’ domains, such as lamps, curtains, sensors, and air-conditioning via a central control system. In the event of an abnormality, the system issues warnings and notifications using an automatic recording, identification, control, and feedback process.
The biggest advantage of using this smart environmental control system is being able to change what was originally a passive structure into an interactive structure with smart tools. This not only decreases the burdens on health care personnel, but also increases the quality of care.
“Our environmental control system can operate in coordination with different health care conditions by adjusting the settings accordingly. For instance during patient care or rest times the lighting in the patients’ rooms can adjusted to be more mild in order to help the patient feel more relaxed. Furthermore, using periphery sensors, the air conditioner can be adjusted in accordance with temperature, humidity, or brightness and the window curtains can be controlled, “ said a Unitech spokesperson.
When pinpointing the needs of health care personnel, mobile health care devices and management station monitoring platforms must provide multifunctional integrated support that will enable health care personnel, during their ever changing workplace situations, to seamlessly connect to a central management platform and medical information system and more quickly and effectively provide patients with suitable medical care services.
For example, by just carrying portable mobile care devices, nurses can directly obtain RFIDs and bar codes for real-time data collection and patient comparisons in order reduce inspection and administration errors. As for nursing station monitoring platforms, they can be used to directly manage the environment in patients’ rooms and be used for real-time video communication with patients.
“We believe that smart platforms are the future development trend for smart care; therefore, in addition to controlling systems, Unitech also places a great deal of importance on creating serial data sharing platforms,” said Unitech Smart Care Division Director Steve Lin.
Care Environments in Homes for Elderly People Are Even More Crucial
In addition to smart systems in hospitals, care environments in homes for elderly people with chronic illnesses are even more crucial. This is especially relevant because as the aging population rapidly increases, medical care facilities are unable to bear the burden of caring for such a large number of patients. Consequently, establishing distance medical care systems in homes is one of the most important infrastructure considerations in our ageing society. This is also the vision of LIG Care.
Similarly, for Unitech’s LIG care the concept of beginning to establish this platform involved both providing a home health care host while also monitoring elderly people’s physiological data, such as their heart rates, blood pressure, and blood sugar. At the same time by collaborating with medical organizations, Unitech will be able to immediately respond to distance care service centers and provide online video call services, video guidance broadcasts, data analysis and health management services.
Currently, Unitech provides LIG care platforms with six major functions: automatic data uploading, remote two-way communication, real-time emergency response, health monitoring, online health care guidance, and cloud remote management.
Steve emphasized that Unitech’s distance health care platform not only supplies hardware equipment. More importantly, it links hospitals with families.
“Merely collecting data is not an advantage. Therefore, the platform automatically uploads physiological data and provides it to professional health care personnel for analysis. Then, in accordance with their analyses, it provides the most suitable health care information or medical services,” said Steve.
Unitech Has Established Many Smart Care Facilities And More Are underway
In Taiwan Unitech is already collaborating with a number of hospitals to set up smart care systems for various hospital facilities. One of these hospitals is MacKay Memorial Hospital in Taipei, which uses Unitech’s environmental smart control system and has installed it in the hospital conference room.
In addition to this hospital, Unitech is also cooperating with local communities in Taiwan. For example, they have installed a distance medical care station in the Houlong Township Office in Miaoli to provide community residents with cloud-supported distance medical care services. Unitech expects to establish two more community health care centers in Taiwan.
In Asia, Unitech has also installed a smart care system in a community hospital in Singapore.
As for plans or intentions to establish smart systems in other healthcare institutions, Steve believes that the ideal time for incorporating smart care systems into them is when new facilities are being build. It will be easy and old facilities can be converted into new facilities overnight with smart system designs.
As for investment in smart care systems, Steve stated that the smart care systems developed by Unitech not only lend optimism to the industry’s growth potential, but more importantly, provide elderly people and the disabled with a better living environment. As a result, they are willing to work with a large number of communities and hospitals to collectively develop smart health care environments and fulfill their corporate social responsibility.
Steve specially pointed out that Unitech’s smart health care systems are developed through continuous clinical trials, and a number of the settings have gone through vast amounts of testing and improvement. From the lighting control to the sensor adjustments, they have all undergone long-term research and clinical trials. The most fully realized plans involve a combination of medicine and advanced technology.
“If it is just monitoring, it is not a smart system,” said Steve.