Intelligent systems related to falls, dementia to be introduced at KTPH
- POSTED: 04 Jan 2014 21:57
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Healthcare professionals at Khoo Teck Puat Hospital (KTPH) and a team of electrical engineering students and staff at Ngee Ann Polytechnic have developed healthcare solutions. Some of these solutions aim to prevent falls and help delay the onset of dementia.
SINGAPORE: Healthcare professionals at Khoo Teck Puat Hospital (KTPH) and a team of electrical engineering students and staff at Ngee Ann Polytechnic have developed healthcare solutions.
Some of these solutions aim to prevent falls and help delay the onset of dementia.
The hospital is aiming to roll out these projects in its wards this year.
In one of the projects, a buzzer will sound to alert nurses when a patient tries to get out of bed. Sensors underneath the mattress will trigger the overhead light to be switched on.
The prototype, called “Light Up”, is undergoing a trial at KTPH and is used for patients who are prone to falling.
Similarly, another project called “Sense Me” uses sensors to detect falls in the bathroom, and triggers a buzzer.
A sensor will detect a change in distance between the top of the patient's head and the sensor during a fall.
Another system called “Touch It” predicts the patients' tendency to fall. When a pad is lights up, the patient is supposed to tap it, and the response time is captured on it. A shorter response time means the patient has a lower risk of falling.
These projects are designed to reduce injuries related to falls.
About 30 per cent of adults over the age of 65 will sustain a fall. Amongst these, one to two per cent will sustain a hip fracture.
KTPH said it sees over 300 hip fractures annually.
Dr Mallya Ullal Jagadish, senior consultant at KTPH's Department of Geriatric Medicine, said: "I had one patient who had a fall and she put her house up for sale because she wanted to go to the nursing home. Such was her fear. It took one year to get over that fear. So to prevent that fear, the cost to the society, the cost to the patient, cost to the family and expense incurred by hospital, fall prevention is of utmost importance to us."
Besides benefits to the patient, the projects also help with manpower challenges.
Liak Teng Lit, CEO of Alexandra Health, said: "No matter how many nurses we have, it is not possible for us to put the nurses 24/7 next to each patient's bed. That is not realistic. So these simple sensing devices that we put next to the patient’s bed, in the toilet and so on, augment our staff, help our staff work better."
To help delay the onset of dementia, the interactive game called “Tap & Step” trains short-term memory.
The patient steps in the centre of a matrix of eight numbered rectangles - which corresponds to the grid of digital images on the LCD screen in front.
The game allows doctors to track the patient's progress.
A three-year Memorandum of Understanding was signed between Ngee Ann Polytechnic and Alexandra Health - which manages the hospital - to develop more customised solutions to improve work processes, speed up response time to patients, and enhance productivity.