Lost equipment in hospitals will no longer be a problem | Gdańsk University of Technology

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Date added: 2020-11-05

Lost equipment in hospitals will no longer be a problem

szpital Cop[ernicus na Zaspie
Specialized equipment for examinations at patients' beds, portable x-ray or ECG devices, or even wheelchairs - searching round the hospital for the appropriate medical equipment often wastes a lot of staff’s time that could be spent on helping patients. However, thanks to the technology of scientists from the GUT Department of Microwave and Antenna Engineering, it will be possible to overcome this problem.

Gdańsk University of Technology signed an agreement with Copernicus Ltd. in Gdańsk on handing over an innovative indoor location system to the medics. The system is the result of many years of research and development work of scientists from the GUT Faculty of Electronics, Telecommunications and Informatics, who developed algorithms and prepared devices containing the so-called reconfigurable antennas - enabling the location of individual objects with very high accuracy.

– The main goal of the system is to create the greatest possible time savings for medical workers, so that they can devote as much time as possible to their patients - says PhD, DSc Łukasz Kulas, professor at GUT, coordinator of the GUT Digital Technologies Center and project manager. – It will help medical workers quickly find the medical equipment they need in their work.

Information about the system developed by scientists from GUT has already been published in many renowned international scientific journals, but so far it has been tested only on the campus of the university. Thanks to the contract signed with Copernicus, scientists from GUT will conduct a pilot installation of the system at the Hospital Emergency Department (HED) at the St. Wojciech Hospital in Gdańsk Zaspa.

It will save doctors' time and help fight the pandemic

The agreement between GUT and Copernicus was signed in the senate hall of the university, and it was signed by the president of the board of Copernicus, Dariusz Kostrzewa and prof. Krzysztof Wilde, rector of GUT.

– The technology we receive from the GUT scientists will significantly improve the work of our medical staff – said president Dariusz Kostrzewa. – It should also be remembered that it not only saves time, but also reduces the movement of staff around the ward and between wards. In this difficult time, in which we are struggling with the coronavirus pandemic, such solutions will therefore also improve the safety of medics and patients.

What is important and worth mentioning here is the fact that implementing the system does not mean any costs for the hospital, because it will be financed under the InSecTT project (serving, among others, for the development of research on Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence technologies), implemented by GUT under the Horizon 2020 program.

– The information obtained from medical personnel will allow us to better adapt the system and algorithms to the specifics of the medical industry – says Jakub Rewieński, system implementation coordinator and member of the GUT team. – We are dealing here with a synergy in which GUT provides an innovative solution to the hospital that will benefit from its functionality, and medical workers will help us improve the operation of our system.

– This agreement shows that the direction of development chosen by Gdańsk University of Technology is the right one - said prof. Krzysztof Wilde, rector of GUT. – After receiving the status of a research university, we created four inter-faculty research centers at GUT, and one of them is the Digital Technologies Center. It is within this framework that this project is carried out, and today we can show the real effects of the activities of the DTC’s scientists. We are constantly looking for new solutions to support medicine and the health care system, so we will certainly expand this cooperation - he added.

Further applications: hospices, nursing homes, ports and airports

Saving time, improving medical procedures and improving the safety of patients and hospital staff during the pandemic are not the only features of the system handed over to the Gdańsk hospital by GUT scientists. It also has a dedicated application that allows the system to be configured in such a way that medics receive notifications in cases when specific units of medical equipment leave the area where they should be. So it will also reduce the number of thefts and unauthorized use of the equipment.

Scientists from GUT are also considering the use of the location system in other health care fields, e.g. in hospices and retirement homes, where there are problems not only with the location of equipment, but also of the patients and other people in the care of a given center. The proposed solutions will also be implemented in other industrial sectors, e.g. in seaports and airports.

Pilot implementation of the system at the St. Wojciech Hospital started at the beginning of November, and the entire installation will be completed in June 2021. Already at the present stage, however, both Polish and foreign companies (including Phillips Healthcare) are interested in the system. GUT has already taken steps to commercialize the product globally, but the most important goal of scientists is to ensure easy access to the technology developed by GUT of the widest possible group of medical facilities in Poland.