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Smart Beds For Healthcare Providers

By Keith Loria for America's Backbone Weekly

The genesis for smart beds goes back nearly two decades, when single-function capabilities were added to hospital beds, allowing trained caregivers to electronically manipulate the shape and functions of the beds. These beds could track bed positions and provide local or remote alarms if pre-set configurations changed.

Over the years smart beds have evolved from these simple, electronically operated hospital beds to touch-free, intelligent, and connected monitoring systems that work in any setting. Several companies such as US Cellular offer solutions to internet-connect your machines to other machines.

Today's smart beds are more about the patient, providing crucial biometric data, such as heart rate and breathing rates. One example of an innovative smart bed comes from BAM Labs, which provides 24/7 touch-free, non-intrusive monitoring of biometric health data and trends. This is on an "invisible" platform that does not require invasive wires or electrodes to be connected to the patient. BAM Labs' smart bed technology provides an easy-to-use solution that addresses clinical challenges around high cost healthcare issues.

"With ground-breaking sensors that are always connected wirelessly and seamlessly to the cloud, the BAM Labs' system captures hard-to-obtain data over long periods of time, without any thought or effort," says Mike Hanson, vice president of Strategic Relationships and responsible for BAM Labs Medical Solutions. "BAM Labs data-driven system helps caregivers better manage health and wellness. With a long-term view of data and easy to understand trend reports, it makes it easier to recognize changes early."

BAM Labs transmits encrypted data wirelessly via an HIPAA-compliant cloud platform. The touchless solution analyzes and transforms this big data into information that helps staff easily detect anomalies and assess over-all wellness.

"At the touch of a button, caregivers are able to check the status of their patients, ensure turn compliance, monitor patterns, and assess the impact of medications on sleep quality and subsequent behavior," Hanson says. "The solution is used to reduce pressure sores, support fall prevention programs, watch sleep behaviors and track long-term trends of their patients' vitals."

Hanson said at facilities using BAM Labs' Smart Bed Technology, nursing staff report a better understanding of sleep patterns and other characteristics that impact quality of life.

Meanwhile, administrators have also seen positive reactions from key stakeholders: the IT department found the solution to be both easy to implement and to maintain, existing families enjoyed improved monitoring capabilities and have leveraged the data analysis to understand how a loved-one is faring. Prospective residents and families were impressed with the unobtrusive nature of the BAM Labs solution, and appreciative that alarm fatigue had been virtually eliminated.

This smart bed technology works in the cloud, offering caregivers applications to analyze and display health data in a user-friendly format via a mobile device or computer anywhere in the world. It's one more way the internet is connecting us and our machines to improve our healthcare.

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