Technological Gadgets to Revolutionize Patient Care

JNF General Hospital

St. Kitts, March 29, 2010 (SKNIS): A pilot project being carried out at the Joseph N. France General Hospital promises to put technology in the Palms of Nurses’ hands.

Dr. Pamela Petrucka, one of the health professionals visiting the Federation to launch the practical phase of the project, told SKNIS that nurses are being given Palm Pilots (PDAs) which can be used at bedside to assist with information data to enhance patient care.

The Palm Pilots are intended for several uses including accessing the Internet and has applications which can be downloaded unto the “cell-phone-like” gadgets.

“It allows nurses to look up information regarding patients’ health condition; share information through e-mail, SKYPE and other social interaction types of technologies; to do self study online; as well as to capture health data using blood pressure and sugar reading machines,” Dr Petrucka explained.

Several agencies merged to make this project possible, including Apogia Networks, SALVEO (A Saskatel and Alcatel-Lucent Venture), The Canadian Government as well as the local Ministries of Health, and Information Technology Representatives.

Thomas James of Apogia Networks – the company responsible for the networking aspect of the project said the PDAs actually reduce health costs by ensuring that available technologies are used to share basic information on health resulting in real positive experiences.

He referenced the case of Dominica where the health care system has been transformed with the implementation of the project. One tangible effect: health education information has mushroom.

SALVEO, the company providing the remote patient monitoring software explained that they would use software to link PDAs, mobile phones and PCs with different types of health devices. He added that this would allow nurses the ability to manage individual patients by monitoring trends in their health status.

Local Dr. Hazel Williams-Roberts Said this project is a platform from which the Ministry of Health can upgrade its offerings as they continue to integrate technology into its health care applications.

This project is in keeping with Government’s computerization and Information Technology thrust, and highlights the success of public and private sector partnerships.

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