Headquartered in the UK, GE Healthcare is a $17 billion unit of General Electric Company. The company provides transformational medical technologies and services that are shaping a new age of patient care, helping clinicians around the world re-imagine new ways to predict, diagnose, inform, treat and monitor disease.
GE Healthcare’s aim was to deliver a more effective and user friendly hospital experience. Patients with long term care can easily find themselves confined by the needs of their treatment, so being able to regain as much independence as possible is an important element of their recuperation.
GE Healthcare envisaged a new, non-intrusive way to monitor serious complaints suffered by patients admitted to hospitals. By observing vital medical signs, health staff could be alerted to take immediate action if a patient was, for example, to suffer a cardiac arrest or breathing difficulties.
In order to achieve this GE Healthcare opted to create a more effective wireless monitoring system for use within hospitals, enabling patients to be safely and securely monitored 24 hours a day. The patient worn devices would need to be compact, easy to use and yet boast the highest levels of reliability to prevent exposing patients to harm, especially since hospital environment are prone to high levels of electronic and radio interference.
GE Healthcare turned to wireless specialists Wood & Douglas to provide the system of wireless transmitters and receivers which would deliver an effective solution for patient monitoring.
Delivering highly reliable and cost effective wireless data communications from point to point, Wood & Douglas’ ST and SR range radio transmitter and receiver modules are designed to be integrated into products that must conform to, or exceed EN 300 220 requirements. This ETSI standard adheres to rigorous modulation requirements, which ensure that interference does not impact the performance of the product. These proved ideal for the needs of GE Healthcare which can now offer an exceptional level of communications reliability to hospitals around the world. In addition, Wood & Douglas enabled the implementation of antenna diversity, whereby two antennas are used to improve the quality of the radio signal. Together, these innovations solved the issues associated with radio interference within hospitals that had previously challenged GE Healthcare.
With high performance and reliability, the ST 500 radio transmitters were compact enough (around the size of a matchbox) to be integrated into GE Healthcare’s wearable device. The Wood & Douglas transmitter and receiver modules then provide a highly robust and reliable data communications channel between patients and a Central Monitoring System which is capable of monitoring up to 16 patients at the same time.
Despite involving all the necessary monitoring and transmission technology to observe a patient’s vital signs, the form factor remained compact and small, reducing patient awareness of the device and achieving the goal of non-intrusive patient monitoring.
- Cost effective and easy to integrate
- ‘No fail’ radio transmitter and receiver reliability for medical applications
- Operates in complex radio environment without interference
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