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Smartphone to improve workflow for nurses launched

A smartphone solution launched this week designed to address alarm fatigue for nurses in hospitals would also be a great tool in aged care settings, according to industry stalwart George Margelis.



Ascom Wireless Solutions presented Ascom Myco, which is short for My companion, to digital health representatives at a launch in Sydney on Wednesday’s night following similar events in Melbourne and Brisbane earlier this week.

In addition to reducing alarm fatigue, Myco, which has been developed for nurses, caregivers and clinicians in healthcare settings, aims to mobilise critical information directly to the nurse and improve clinical workflow.

Key features include Wi-Fi and 3G network connectivity allowing it to be used onsite or offsite, a hands-free top display, a patient-centred user interface, and support for third-party apps.

Speaking to Australian Ageing Agenda at the event, Dr Margelis from the TeleHealth Research and Innovation Laboratory at the University of Western Sydney said Myco looked ideal for Australian aged care settings.

Dr Margelis, who was inducted into the Information Technology in Aged Care Hall of Fame in May, said providers which have been slow to adopt technology might leap into their ICT journey with this type of cutting-edge solution.

Ascom Integrated Wireless managing director Leo Silver told the launch that Myco was more than just new technology looking for a home.

“Myco is the end result of years of research and development targeting a very clear problem defined within the healthcare segment. The specific area that it primarily tries to address is alarm fatigue,” Mr Silver said.

As we move towards the digital hospital, frontline staff are increasingly swamped with alarms, beeps and messages, which can result in distraction, desensitisation towards alarms and increased patient risk, he said.

He said the device was designed with the nurse in mind highlighting that it could be worn either way, such as in a top pocket or on the belt, as the screen can be viewed up or down, and the top display indicating the highest priority alert with sufficient context to make a decision could be viewed without touching the device.

Myco features
  • 3G and Wi-Fi network connectivity
  • hands-free top display
  • patient-centred user interface with patient home screen
  • support for third party apps
  • barcode scanner
  • carrying clip
  • long-lasting swappable battery
  • a rugged, waterproof and cleanable casing

Myco’s interface provides an overview of patients in the nurse’s area of responsibility with alerts sent corresponding to that area rather than all areas.

Mission-critical information and communication is also available on Myco and alarms and alerts from monitors and equipment connected to patients are pushed directly to the device.

GE Healthcare market segment manager Paul Merrett told the launch that the Myco handset was an enormous leap forward because it brought alarms and patient monitoring to the nurse wherever they were.

“This is a huge paradigm in workflow for nurses. You are suddenly carving off an enormous amount of time, energy and stress and that nurse can make an immediate informed decision.”

Myco, which incorporates GE’s patient alarm management technology, will help improve patient safety, reduce alarm fatigue, inform decisions and responses, save time, money and nurse physical fatigue, and improve staff retention, Mr Merrett said.

Myco is expected to be available in March 2015 with pricing structures due next month.

Mycom full image

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