Like most industries, Systems Integration has seen a technological shift in the last few years. Instead of routing images throughout the OR using copper cables, this entire process is becoming network-based, which opens up a world of possibilities for both OR and IT professionals.
In a network-based protocol, OR professionals need not link devices through DVI/ HDMI connectors to have a full patient picture. Now, as devices are plugged into IP routers, all of the information—data, clinical images, videos—can move freely and securely, not only within the OR, but also throughout the entire health system.
It’s much the same way we receive and enjoy contemporary entertainment. When we listen to music on Sonos or watch movies on Netflix, it’s wireless. Gone is the need for a CD or DVD player. Basically, our world of entertainment revolves around online streaming and that’s very similar to what has happened with Systems Integration for the OR. We’ve cut out the need for wires and multiple bulky devices.
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Why is this important? It allows for higher utilization and a more secure free-flow of pertinent patient information. It provides for efficient and secure accessibility of patient images and data from anywhere in the health system, breaking down the metaphorical walls around the OR, and making interoperability a possibility. Ultimately, a network-based protocol enhances collaborative care and boosts the chances of better patient outcomes.
By better organizing all of the imaging and data acquired in the OR, and creating the ability to unlock previously unorganized data streams, the IP network approach enables the ability to utilize Artificial Intelligence (AI) in a field presently underutilizing the technology.
Without a device being connected to the IP network Systems Integration solution, an AI vendor would have to independently connect to each device, which would not only be extremely costly, but would be impractical to manage.
But the shift to a network-based Systems Integration solution not only helps with hospital interoperability and image/data management, it also allows for remote issues prevention and management. A network-based solution allows for continuous remote monitoring of the happenings in the OR—mitigating potential issues pertaining to connectivity, image storage, and other technical challenges.
This is important for a number of reasons. For starters, a hospital’s IT department is rarely located in the same place as the OR. A network-based solution will allow for remote intervention should any issues arise, minimizing the need to travel over to the OR, and saving precious time when a patient is on the table.