Safe Treatment Solutions
Medical practitioners and facilities are embracing Bluetooth® medical devices and solutions for diagnosis and treatment to minimize exposure and improve the quality and efficiency of patient care. Bluetooth technology is enabling safer in-facility patient diagnosis and monitoring and improved remote monitoring and in-home care, as well as safer facility management within healthcare environments.
“Location-based services enable hospitals to save lives and make the facilities safer for both staff and patients.”
– Fabio Belloni, Quuppa
Safe Facility Management
Hospitals and healthcare facilities are implementing Bluetooth® Location Services solutions to better manage exposure risk by geofencing critical areas, routing patients and staff to optimized paths, and monitoring hand-hygiene stations to help enforce staff compliance. Bluetooth safe facility management solutions are also being deployed to track vital assets including code carts, ventilators, wheelchairs, and other medical equipment to help provide patients the care they need when they need it.
CARECOM, an IoT solutions provider for healthcare facilities, is one innovator that has developed a system to monitor hand-hygiene compliance using Bluetooth technology. The CARECOM monitoring system uses sensors to detect when a hand sanitizer is pumped and transmits a Bluetooth signal to locators to count hand-sanitization instances among users. Simple, yet effective, systems like this one can be used by nurses in hospitals but could also be repurposed for broader use for employees in an event or office space. According to ABI Research and the University of Fukui Hospital, Japan, Bluetooth hygiene management solutions helped drive a 300 percent increase in hand hygiene compliance.
Remote Patient Care
A fast-growing number of Bluetooth® enabled medical wearable devices including connected blood pressure monitors, continuous glucose monitors, pulse oximeters, and even asthma inhalers are helping administer medication and transmit critical information securely from patients to providers. Ongoing remote patient monitoring using Bluetooth technology is helping patients return home and isolate themselves to continue their recovery without compromising the care they receive.
Safe Patient Diagnosis and Monitoring
Individuals suffering from a communicable disease require continuous monitoring of their vital signs, including core body temperature, heart rate, respiratory rate, and blood oxygen saturation. By minimizing the need for frequent routine patient checks, Bluetooth® connected health devices are helping reduce the possibility of cross-infection and enabling nursing staff and physicians to sustain care while maintaining an appropriate distance.
Exposure Notification Systems
Typically deployed by government health agencies, public Exposure Notification Systems (ENS) use Bluetooth® technology already embedded in smartphones to notify people when they have been in close contact with someone who was later diagnosed with COVID-19 or another infectious disease. The Exposure Notification System created jointly by Google and Apple is a well-known example of an ENS.
The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) is creating a specification that will establish a standardized method for adding support for wearable devices while preserving the same privacy and security protections of the ENS. By extending an ENS to include wearables, such as wristbands, it can better address population groups where smartphone usage remains low, including children in primary school and older adults living in care facilities.
“Bluetooth® technology is the best solution available today for contact tracing and other safe-return solutions. It is reliable, easy to deploy, data privacy friendly, and available on 100% of smartphones worldwide. It is no wonder Apple and Google also chose Bluetooth technology for their contact tracing API and we fully agree.”
– Ege Akpinar, Pointr
Exposure Notification and Digital Contact Tracing
Public Exposure Notification Systems, as well as private, digital contact-tracing solutions powered by Bluetooth® technology, are playing a critical role in containing the spread of COVID-19. By notifying people who have come in contact with an infected individual, determining the length of those interactions, and preserving anonymity throughout the process, ENS and digital contact-tracing solutions help ensure that enterprises and individuals can take the appropriate measures to minimize further spread without compromising employee privacy. Each notification allows employers to react quickly to protect their staff and keep their business operational.
In this way, Bluetooth technology is helping enterprises and schools respond quickly and confidently in the case of infection, enabling them to make intelligent decisions on preventive measures without resorting to building-wide shutdowns. Pointr, Kontakt.io, and Estimote are just a few companies leveraging Bluetooth® technology to solve this challenge and increase safety in workplaces and other venues.
The Next Normal
We are still a long way away from returning to pre-pandemic normalcy. Though technology is no substitute for testing, social distancing, or wearing personal protective equipment when appropriate, the Bluetooth® member community is doing its part to confront the challenges of our new normal and help pave the road to recovery. Using Bluetooth technology, we can take additional precautions to help quell the virus and prioritize safety as we open our schools, workplaces, and other public venues. Bluetooth technology offers the flexibility necessary to build accessible and scalable solutions that can serve us now and in the future.
“Bluetooth® technology is the go-to choice for solutions aimed at facilitating the reopening of public venues for a number of reasons. Bluetooth technology’s unique combination of capabilities helps it to deliver a value proposition unmatched by any other medium — open standards, low energy, low cost, and very wide adaptation.”
– Rom Eizenberg, Kontakt.io
Learn more about key Bluetooth technology uses cases that will help pave the way for COVID-19 recovery.
For years, advancements in Bluetooth® technology have enhanced operations for large-scale environments, from office…