Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Dutch medical centre uses time tracking IoT platform on heart patients

Steve Rogerson
September 8, 2015
The Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC) in Leiden, the Netherlands, has become the first commercial deployment of an IoT-based time tracking system for acute myocardial infarction patients.
Acute myocardial infarction occurs when blood flow is blocked in the coronary artery. As a result, part of the heart muscle is short on oxygen (ischemia) and damaged. LUMC's cardiology department set up the door-to-balloon (DTB) task force focused on ischemic time in heart infarction patients.
DTB is the crucial period of time from when the patient enters the hospital to when the blockage is removed to restore blood flow by inflating a balloon during primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). To reduce DTB time, real-time, accurate time tracking, evaluation and feedback is essential.
LUMC developed a system powered by Zatar, an IoT platform from Illinois-based Zebra Technologies, to enable hospitals to track patients and provide real-time feedback on DTB time. The technology was shared for the first time during the European Society for Cardiology Congress in London last month.
"Zebra's time tracking solution for AMI patients allows us to track and evaluate door-to-balloon time in myocardial infarction patients,” said MJ Schalij, head of cardiology at Leiden University Medical Center. “The system provides reliable, real-time feedback and helps us optimise the logistics chain in acute myocardial infarction care."
The real-time data provided allow all members of the caregiving team including cardiologists, ED physicians, nurses, EMS staff, technicians and administrators to focus on the reduction of DTB time.
LUMC completed a six-month, 100-patient pilot review of time tracking and has now moved into the commercialisation phase for all AMI patients. It provides automatic time recording and real-time visibility into the time consumed on the AMI patients in treatment.
Hospitals can start using the system very quickly as it installs in days without IT support and does not require significant training of staff. It can also be used in other time-critical emergency care, including door-to-needle (DTN) for tracking the time in response to acute ischemic stroke.
The system uses Bluetooth Smart wristbands and digital display devices installed in-route from door to the catherisation laboratory in the hospital.
"Our time tracking solution for AMI patients is focused on helping hospitals focus on providing greater attention and care to patients in urgent, time-sensitive use cases,” said Phil Gerskovich, senior vice president at Zebra Technologies. “We are excited about completing the Leiden pilot and moving to production to benefit even more patients."