Smart operating theatres: technology at the service of health

Smart operating theatres enable access to all of the patient’s information and ensure greater surgical safety.

Medicine is advancing rapidly thanks to new technology 3D printing, exoskeletons and smart operating theatres are just a few examples of how this collaboration is improving the quality of work of health professionals and the quality of life of patients.

Take, for example, smart operating theatres. New advances are causing the redesign of spaces where all of the necessary elements to provide more complete care are integrated into a single system. From these smart operating theatres, doctors can gain access to medical histories, test results, x-rays and images of the surgical site. They are also equipped with touch screens that allow users to enlarge images and equipment that can work by voice recognition. In addition, the monitors can control all of the variables of the environment to ensure greater surgical safety.

And as if that were not enough, these smart operating theatres can even be fitted out with cameras, which, in conjunction with the use of Google Glass technology, enable operations to be followed, not only by students in a nearby room, but also from other parts of the world.

By being able to interconnect smart operating theatres, doctors can perform procedures while requesting advice and suggestions from other doctors. If a new technique for an operation needs to be used, but the specialist is in a different location, interconnected smart operating theatres will still enable the specialist to guide the surgery almost to the millimetre.

New technologies however are not just focusing on smart operating theatres. Advances can also be seen in medical tools designed for the safety and monitoring of patients receiving treatment or for the care of the elderly or disabled. Good examples include wearables and health apps.

Wearables, such as smart bracelets and watches, were initially launched onto the market to enable athletes to monitor their fitness. It was soon realised that they also had great potential in the field of health for monitoring blood pressure and sugar, temperature and cholesterol. If connected to a health centre, they can also be used to monitor chronic or elderly patients or diagnose certain diseases.

And then there are the health apps. If there is one thing that we always carry with us and seldom forget it is our mobile phone. Thanks to these apps, people can monitor their health better and record the data. This record can provide the doctor with more information and improve the quality of care.

These apps also make monitoring at home and even doctor-patient communication possible. For example, diabetic patients who need to check their insulin on a daily basis can enter the data into the app. If an abnormal value is recorded, the system can alert the doctor, who can then inform the patient, attempt to identify the cause of the abnormality, adjust treatment or call the patient in for an appointment. This ability to respond quickly will have the effect of reducing waiting times at the doctor’s surgery and the number of journeys, and eventually lead to a more sustainable health system.

 

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