por John R. Fischer
, Senior Reporter | October 21, 2019
From the October 2019 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine
Another aspect to consider is the time it takes to notify providers of an issue. Tim True, senior director of sales and service operations at Advanced Cooling Technologies, a manufacturer of MR chiller and cooling technologies, says before remote monitoring, notifications were entirely dependent on someone being at the site to recognize the issue.
“Now, our technical support team receives a push notification anytime a reading is outside of normal or an alarm goes off, even if the chiller still appears to be operating fine,” he said. “Once this occurs, the diagnostic/repair process is initiated by ACT and the customer is notified. “
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Tapping into greater insights
Pressure to avoid unplanned downtimes and cater to rising volumes of patients has caused providers to seek out remote monitoring systems for their MR suites.
Detecting any issue within an MR system requires access to data. The more data available, the quicker and easier it is to address and solve a potential issue. Because of this, many providers have turned their attention to big data science and predictive analytics for identifying any faults within their MR systems and diagnostic equipment.
“These tools, like big data and predictive analytics, enhance insight and enable fact-based decision-making,” said Hearn. “Therefore, utilizing this data mining and machine learning to analyze this kind of history and to predict the future is imperative to maintain and actually gain a competitive edge.”
This attention has in turn led to research around the development of AI and machine learning-based tools, though sources agree that such solutions are still in their infancy and have not yet been implemented within the remote monitoring sphere.
Although Abbs acknowledges such tools are necessary, he notes that humans are still required for validating the accuracy of alerts and determining the best approach for addressing these issues. “There are so many variables with what can go wrong that someone still needs to look at various alarms that are coming in to determine the course of action. It still takes a pair of eyes to look at the alarms.”
Choosing the correct vendor to perform remote monitoring services requires compatibility with the requirements of the MR system, according to Jon LeBeau, director of sales at Total Data Connect. “OEM's have their own systems but they cannot monitor other units. Many facilities and mobile providers have several makes of scanners. The flexibility to monitor the entire fleet is a big advantage for Total Data Connect. And our environmental capabilities give users additional insight on their equipment and conditions around machines.”