Apple's iPads are making a difference for Doctors & Nurses at Massachusetts General Hospital during COVID-19 Crisis
In a new report posted today we learn that over the past three weeks, Massachusetts General Hospital has undergone a transformation. Like most US hospitals these days, a palpable tension hangs over the building. The halls are quiet and devoid of visitors, isolation wards are filling with patients, and staff are dressed in extensive protective gear. There’s an unusual stillness in the air.
In the isolation wards, COVID-19 patients rest in rooms equipped with iPads mounted to IV (Intravenous therapy) poles using a gizmo designed to secure the iPads. The iPads also include software that makes them virtual extensions of Mass General’s 2,000 nurses.
Nurses can use the devices to check on and communicate with patients without donning masks, gloves, and other precious protective gear, and risk exposing themselves to the virus.
In the three weeks since the system with iPads was deployed, Mass General says its use of personal protective equipment, or PPE, has fallen by half, helping the hospital cope with a nationwide shortage. It has also converted longtime opponents of telemedicine in hospitals into fierce advocates of the technology.
Dr. Lee Schwamm, who leads Mass General's Center for TeleHealth: "This digital surge that is preceding the actual COVID-19 patient surge is going to transform healthcare permanently in the United States."
Harris Health now uses iPads to provide on-demand access to interpreters for non-native English-speaking patients, patient consultations with pharmacists and dietitians, and video chats with patients’ family and loved ones.
On Wednesday, the hospital network deployed a new system designed to streamline end-of-life care and ensure that the families of patients in critical condition can be quickly contacted and brought to the patient’s bedside virtually to be with them in their final moments.
There's a lot more to the Wired article here.