Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Internet of Things- IoT

Internet of Things - IoT

New trends, technology and smart devices enter the consumer market and our life almost on a daily bases. For those of us working in the technology industry or in a fast-paced environment, the new names and shortcuts are easy to adopt and to understand.

But for everyone else, new names and technologies are often times confusing and hard to understand.
In the last year, especially since the beginning of 2017, the term "Internet of Things" or "IoT", began springing up more and more often. New start-ups and established companies started focusing on it and the term IoT can be found on a daily basis in almost every tech magazine or paper. 
But what does IoT actually do for the consumer and who would benefit from using it?

To give you a basic understanding of the Internet of Things, here's a quick overview of the advantages of using it in the private sector as well as industrial.
 
"The Internet of Things (IoT) is the inter-networking of physical devices, vehicles (also referred to as "connected devices" and "smart devices"), buildings, and other items embedded with electronics, software, sensors, actuators, and network connectivity which enable these objects to collect and exchange data. In 2013, the Global Standards Initiative on Internet of Things (IoT-GSI) defined the IoT as "a global infrastructure for the information society, enabling advanced services by interconnecting (physical and virtual) things based on existing and evolving interoperable information and communication technologies," and for these purposes a "thing" is "an object of the physical world (physical things) or the information world (virtual things), which is capable of being identified and integrated into communication networks". The IoT allows objects to be sensed or controlled remotely across existing network infrastructure, creating opportunities for more direct integration of the physical world into computer-based systems, and resulting in improved efficiency, accuracy and economic benefit in addition to reduced human intervention. When IoT is augmented with sensors and actuators, the technology becomes an instance of the more general class of cyber-physical systems, which also encompasses technologies such as smart grids, virtual power plants, smart homes, intelligent transportation and smart cities. Each thing is uniquely identifiable through its embedded computing system but is able to interoperate within the existing Internet infrastructure. Experts estimate that the IoT will consist of about 30 billion objects by 2020."

Sources:
Internet of Things- Wikipedia full entry


Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Ask the Right Questions when Choosing Your Mounting Solutions Company

There are several ways to improve your workspace set-up ergonomically. One would be to improve your monitor positioning. That being said, the question that comes up right away would be:

“How do I choose the right mounting solution company?”

Tough one. There are several companies offering similar services, but not all of them have quality products or fulfill your specific needs. Sometimes the most obvious decision would be choosing the company based on price range, but does this actually help you to improve your ergonomics or is it just adding more cluster to your office? To make your decision less of a headache, check out the infographic below designed by Warren B. With these tips, you’ll see improvement in the following areas:
  • Your health
  • Your posture
  • Your eyes
  • Your productivity
  • And of course, your interior design
Here are the questions you should ask and the reasons why these specific questions are important:

Monday, April 24, 2017

Benefits of Well-Designed Medical and Dental Computer Mounts

 
Wall mounted computer workstation in a patient room. Well designed, ergonomic mounting arms improve efficiency and enhance caregiver comfort and safety.


 The need for better monitor and computer mounting solutions

There has been a dramatic increase in the need for correct monitor and computer mounting systems in medical and dental settings. Placing a monitor and keyboard on a counter or shelf is no longer acceptable for the following reasons:
  • Computer use and MSDs. Awareness of the relationship between increased computer use and Muskuloskeletal Disorders (MSDs) in healthcare and dental environments has brought proper ergonomics to the forefront when selecting computer mounting systems.
  • Limited space. The growing use of computers, monitors and carts has created space restriction problems.
  • Meeting patient needs. Whether entertaining patients or presenting them with information, one static location for a monitor or TV will not meet the needs of every patient.

The importance of proper ergonomics

With better knowledge of workplace-related injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome, lower back, neck and shoulder pain, healthcare and dental managers are recognizing the need to provide ergonomically correct workplaces for their staff. The simple definition of ergonomics is the adaptation of the workplace to the worker. Mounting systems need to adapt equipment to the people who use it.
Because people’s physical proportions vary considerably, mounting systems need to easily adjust for each caregiver. Administrative and patient care tasks are handled more safely and efficiently with ergonomically designed computer and monitor mounts. Proper ergonomics can also save money through fewer missed days due to injury and increased productivity because employees are comfortable in their work environment.

Considerations for space-constrained environments

Often the first question that comes to mind before the purchase of a computer or monitor mounting system is, “Where will we put it?” In medical and dental environments, space is a valuable commodity. In an administrative or IT area, if a keyboard is placed at the edge of the table and a monitor behind the keyboard, the actual usable workspace has been greatly reduced. In some instances a second or third monitor is needed, compounding the problem.
In hospital patient rooms and dental operatories, it’s often impractical to use a second cart or cabinet for a computer, monitor, keyboard or laptop. Every square inch of floor and desk space has already been allocated for other equipment and tasks. Stowable mounting solutions provide complete workstations that mount in minimal space and fold up and out of the way when not in use. Desk and floor space remain clear.


Wall mounted computer workstation and ceiling mounted monitor improve efficiency in a healthcare setting.

 

 

 

 

Adjustable mounting arms can enhance patient care

Articulating monitor mounts in medical and dental settings enable caregivers to easily share information with patients. Appropriately selected monitor and computer mounting solutions can improve caregiver efficiency by streamlining workflow and maximizing the area they have to do their work.
Ergonomically designed mounting solutions increase the comfort, health and safety of staff in clinic and patient rooms, nurses stations, administrative areas, diagnostic sites and operatories.
A monitor mounted to an adjustable arm makes it easy for a patient to enjoy television even if his/her mobility is limited. The patient no longer has to be moved to see the screen because the screen can be moved to where the patient can view it.
An extendable monitor arm can enable a caregiver to use the monitor to educate a patient about a treatment or help him/her view x-rays from a bed or chair. This mounting system makes it easier to engage a patient in the treatment process. The same mounting system can then lift the monitor high enough to be used by caregivers or colleagues to discuss treatment plans.

 

 
Wall mounted monitor in a dental operatory makes it easier to share images    with the patient.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finding the right mounting solution

There are many monitor and computer mounting arms and stands on the market designed for an array of applications in healthcare and dental environments. It’s important to know exactly what mounting solution will match facility and caregiver needs. The following are points to keep in mind when looking for a mounting system.
  • Adaptability. Present needs may change in the future. Find a system that is designed with this in mind. Ask, “How easy will it be to add a keyboard to this monitor mount in the future? Will it be necessary to buy a completely new system or can this one be upgraded?”
  • Adjustability. The monitor and/or computer mount should be designed to adjust easily by the people who will use it every day. Ask, “Can caregivers and staff easily adjust the height and position of this mount?” In the case of an articulating mounting arm, think of the farthest point it will be required to reach. “Will this arm extend to where it is needed?”
  • Compatibility. There are compatibility standards set forth by VESA, the Video Electronics Standard Association, that determine how a flat panel monitor can be mounted. Be sure to find a mounting interface that’s VESA compliant and compatible with the monitor. Also keep in mind the weight of the equipment that will be mounted and choose a mounting system that meets the load capacity.
  • Quality. Find out how the monitor and computer mounts under consideration have been engineered and manufactured. Ask, “Is the mounting system designed to be durable? Is the mount built to last at least as long as the equipment that is mounted on it? Is this system safe to extend above and over a patient? What kind of finish does it have? Will the finish fade or chip after frequent cleaning? Will the manufacturer stand behind this product?”
The right monitor and computer mounting system can transform a healthcare or dental practice. It can enrich the experience of patients and create a safer, more efficient workplace for employees.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

ICW's Vertical Dual Monitor Mounting System Product Prototype




 ICW's Vertical Dual Monitor Mounting System Product Prototype


ICW is excited to announce our next new product prototype. In fact we know exactly how important it is to develop new, innovative & helpful ideas for many reasons; constantly improve the quality of our products, target new trends and increase the ergonomics at your workplace.

The last few years have been interesting in terms of new technology; that being said, we have noticed that the trend to work with dual monitors has increased work productivity in office spaces throughout the world. The convenience of having two monitors has many benefits, but also brings certain problems. Tight quarters with limited space and incorrect ergonomics.

Knowing the benefits and concerns, our engineers came up with a new idea for a vertical dual monitor mounting system. So this is what we did: we have mounted dual monitors in the vertical position on a heavy-duty desk puck. Each of the monitors can be rotated 20 degrees laterally and our Para-link adjuster provides forward and backward motion for fine-tuning their position.


This is an excellent, space-saving configuration for radiology departments, dental offices, IT, and other areas that need maximum monitor real estate in a minimum amount of space.
Feel free to contact us directly for any questions or visit our website at www.icwusa.com to get more news and updates about existing & upcoming products.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Improving compliance with EHR priorities in an era of decentralized hospital-based healthcare





Hospital mergers and acquisitions can create challenges integrating different electronic health records (EHR) systems
As healthcare decision makers well know, the industry is experiencing unprecedented challenges on numerous fronts. Declining reimbursements, new federal regulations and incentives, an increase in insured patients, and evolving consumer expectations are requiring hospitals and health systems to rapidly adjust how they approach and deliver patient services.
These market dynamics are in part contributing to a resurgence of hospital acquisitions of and mergers with outpatient specialty centers and private practices. Decentralizing lower-acuity care into community settings has the potential to deliver wins from multiple angles. Hospitals can develop down-stream revenue sources while creating a broader referral base; they improve their ability to manage overall patient outcomes, in line with the shift to population-based care; and they can extend their brand and market share while reducing the risks that come with providing care in an inpatient setting.
As the Health Facilities Management/American Society for Healthcare Engineering 2015 Hospital Construction Survey1 found, nearly 24 percent of respondents noted they are considering health system-branded general medicine and family care centers in the community, and 22 percent are considering ambulatory surgery centers, in response to reduced reimbursement rates and new payment arrangements.
Even with their potential to right the ship, mergers and acquisitions present their own level of challenges, not least of which is integrating different electronic health records (EHR) systems and processes. Any shift of this magnitude will require accompanying operational and cultural changes. So what is the key to improving system-wide EHR compliance and efficiency? Improving how the technology is accessed by caregivers. Understanding how technology mounting solutions can support the goals that are driving healthcare acquisitions will help hospitals and health systems mitigate some of the challenges ahead.

Trends in the market

For hospitals, there is an attractive market in decentralized services. Acquiring or merging with community-based physician groups and specialty centers increases hospitals’ reach with more convenient, community-based anchors. Theoretically, revenues are less dependent on admittance rates; now hospitals can harness revenues from more routine and specialty care cases. Bringing more physicians into the fold also expands referral networks.
Treating routine and non-acute care in community-based centers—whether a physician practice, urgent care center, an ambulatory surgery center, or a specialty care center—also lessens costly risks related to readmissions or hospital-acquired infections.
The move also anticipates the challenges of managing the health of overall patient populations as the country shifts to value-based care. Bringing providers across specialties into one network improves the ability to oversee a patient’s full continuum of care—and provides greater insight into data analytics. A well-managed network supported by a smart IT backbone has the potential to influence patient outcomes while driving inefficiencies out of the system.
For physicians, too, there are benefits. The opportunity to forgo the administrative hassle and costs of upgrading systems and processes to support new federal mandates is a powerful draw. With a robust EHR system behind them, physicians can significantly improve patient health and meet patient expectations by tapping into a larger trove of patient data than they could maintain on their own.
But for every merger or acquisition, hospitals take on greater risk and financial cost, and not just that related to physician compensation packages and additional square footage. Hospitals also assume all IT-related costs and maintenance. Hospitals may find they need to install new or upgrade existing EHR systems, as well as maintain those systems. And with that comes the potential for organizational change, particularly as hospitals acquire practices that have entrenched EHR practices or, in some cases, no EHR system at all.

Streamlining EHR across the system

Between federal government incentives and mandates, the desire to improve overall efficiency and big data insight, and patient expectations for information access, EHR adoption has rapidly increased across hospitals, health systems, and independent practices alike. But this may offer a mixed bag for hospitals as they grapple with integrating different systems under their umbrella.
EHR adoption rates up across the board
According to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), as of 2014, a majority of office-based physicians were using EHR systems, and nearly 75 percent of these physicians were using a certified EHR system (meaning the EHR met Meaningful Use criteria). Primary care physicians have the highest rate of adoption over medical and surgical specialties, but the level of EHR functionality varies.2
The ONC has found that hospitals, too, have increased not just their adoption rate, but how they share that information with patients. As of 2014, more than six out of ten (64 percent) of non-federal acute care hospitals allow patients to view, download and transmit their health information electronically.3
All of which goes to show that, while adoption rates are up, the systems used and how they are used range across the spectrum. For hospitals looking to fold specialty centers and private practices into their brand, this could pose an interesting challenge. Their new partners likely have embraced EHR, but caregivers may need to adjust to a new system to conform to hospital standards. In this case, ensuring that standardized, easy and intuitive computer mounting solutions are in place to facilitate caregiver access to the EHR is imperative.
HCAHPS and caregiver interaction
The advent of Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Provider and Systems (HCAHPS) adds yet another dimension to the issue. HCAHPS puts hospitals under enormous pressure to demonstrate that patient engagement and satisfaction are a top priority, which should influence how technology is accessed in the patient room.
Patient satisfaction is driven by multiple factors, including the level of care patients believe they are receiving. Nursing staff who spend more time in a patient’s room can affect this perception of care. Enabling nursing staff to interact face-to-face with patients while charting in the patient’s room—-and even allowing patients to view their own chart—-promotes patient engagement. It also offers the added benefit of allowing nursing staff to complete their charting with fewer interruptions and distractions. As hospitals decentralize care, the need to provide for this level of patient engagement downstream is compounded.
And hospitals are taking note. According to the Health Facilities Management/American Society for Healthcare Engineering 2015 Hospital Construction Survey, nearly 20 percent of respondents said they are decentralizing support services to refocus point of care in the patient room and increase the number of services at the bedside.4
Ensuring computers are in place at bedside to enhance patient and caregiver interaction is paramount. Computer mounting solutions that allow for face-to-face interaction, protect patient privacy and are intuitive to use will play a key role in successfully transitioning more services to the patient’s side, whether it’s an inpatient room or an exam room.
Mining and analyzing EHR data improves patient care and health outcomes
Hospitals and health systems that are using their EHR systems to the fullest extent have access to a valuable collection of patient data. According to a 2015 healthcare analytics survey by CDW Healthcare, hospitals that are implementing analytics are experiencing more clinical benefits than operational benefits to date. Eighty-two percent of the survey’s respondents reported improved patient care, 63 percent reported reduced readmission rates, and 62 percent reported improved overall health outcomes.5
The ability to combine inpatient and outpatient analytics will provide hospitals with a tremendous advantage in improving the full continuum of care. Of course, the ability to fully mine analytics is dependent on ensuring consistency across the board in how information is entered into the EHR system. Standardized computer mounting locations that support caregiver workflow will enhance data collection efforts.
Consumers want greater access to information
The demand to use EHR systems isn’t just coming from federal requirements. In a digital age when consumers customize their every experience online, patients increasingly expect to not just view but to also interact with their medical information.
According to Accenture’s 2013 Consumer Survey on Patient Engagement, four out of five consumers say that accessing medical records electronically is at least somewhat important—with nearly half saying it is very important. And, more telling, 41 percent of consumers without online access to their medical records would consider switching to a provider that offers access.6
Meeting these expectations is only possible if caregivers across the system are using the EHR system appropriately. Ensuring they have easy access will enhance compliance.
Challenges to integrating IT solutions into existing space
While there are numerous benefits to standardizing IT across the healthcare system, doing so is not without its challenges.
Hospitals may find that their acquisitions use an EHR system that is not compatible with the hospital’s system. They may find that the practices employ processes that conflict with the hospital’s standards for security, privacy and safety. Or they may find that they need to start from scratch as they acquire practices that still rely on paper charting.
All of these factors will require caregiver education, a possible change in operations and a shift in culture. Hospitals, too, will now be responsible for the cost of maintaining equipment in sometimes far-flung reaches of their service area.
In tandem, hospitals may find that their IT solutions are challenged by existing infrastructure and space. Building a new facility provides the luxury of planning for the integration of IT into patient care; acquiring existing space may require creative solutions for working within exam rooms, operating rooms, pre- and post-op areas, and even nursing stations that were never designed to accommodate IT as part of the continuum of care.
Above all, hospitals need to ensure the solutions they implement—whether in their inpatient or outpatient environments—uphold standards for caregiver health and wellness, particularly in regard to the increased risk for musculoskeletal disorders (MSD), patient privacy, and infection control.

Improving compliance through smarter mounting solutions for computers and medical devices

When change is ahead, one of the best means to bring everyone on board is to make it easy to adopt the new process. Implementing mounting solutions that support caregiver workflow, safety and security—and that make accessing the technology easy—will improve the chances that caregivers will quickly take to a new system.
However, not all mounting solutions are made equal; some of the considerations below can make or break caregiver acceptance of a new or revised solution. When choosing a mounting solution, consider:
Solutions that support unique department requirements. Different departments have different needs for how technology is used. Smart solutions providers understand these different needs and offer comprehensive choices to support the right solution. A solutions provider that offers onsite assessments at no cost and installation can be an integral partner in choosing the best solutions for each department. Having multiple options also enhances the ability to standardize across multiple locations, which affects not just appearance, but maintenance as well.
Solutions that support ease-of-use and ergonomics. Because multiple caregivers access IT from a point of service in a given day, the mounting solution should be intuitive to use and easy to adjust. Fully adjustable mounts will also allow caregivers of different heights to work in comfort, protecting against MSD injuries. With so much use, the mounting solutions should be durable and easy to replace.
Solutions that support patient/provider interactions. While bedside charting can have a positive influence on patient engagement, some mounting solutions are better at engaging patients than others. For example, mounting arms that reach well into a room allow caregivers to position themselves so they can face patients while charting. Mounts that allow independent rotation of the monitor also allow patients to view their data to verify information and engender trust.
Solutions that protect patient privacy. Unlike laptops or tablets, which are at risk of being misplaced or stolen, mounting arms are securely fastened to the wall or ceiling. As an added benefit, they ensure that caregivers have ready access to the EHR system at the point of care; no more downtime because of an uncharged laptop or a missing cart.
Solutions that save space. Mounting solutions that reach well into a room and stow compactly when not in use free up space for other needs. Unlike carts or desktop computers, they do not take up valuable space in tight quarters.
Solutions that are backed by the manufacturer. Mounting solutions are an investment in patient care. Therefore, it is essential that they work as intended. This doesn’t just mean having a solid warranty; manufacturer support should start well before that, with full installation services and a trial period to ensure the product is the right fit for the location and staff. The warranty should also cover all repairs and service, of particular value to hospitals with networks that extend over a broad service area.

Supporting caregivers to better support outcomes

With market dynamics in flux for the foreseeable future, hospitals will continue to be challenged to fulfill their missions while maintaining profitability. Efforts to expand market share and improve population health through acquisitions and mergers could offer a sustainable way forward for many hospitals. Of course, with acquisitions comes a raft of challenges, including ensuring that caregivers adjust to and fully embrace the hospital’s EHR systems and priorities. By improving caregiver access at the intersection of IT and healthcare, hospitals and systems will go far in removing at least one challenge to a fully integrated future.
Citations
1. Vesely, Rebecca and Hoppszallern, Suzanna. “Hospital Construction Survey Results are In.” Health Facilities Management. Posted February 4, 2015. Web. September 25, 2015.
2. Heisey-Grove, Dawn and Patel, Vaishali. “Any, Certified, and Basic: Quantifying EHR Adoption through 2014. The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology. September 2015. Web. September 29, 2015.
3. Charles, Dustin; Gabriel, Meghan; and Henry, JaWanna. “Electronic Capabilities for Patient Engagement among U.S. non-Federal Acute Care Hospitals: 2012-2014.” The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology. October 2015. Web. October 5, 2015.
4. Vesely, Rebecca and Hoppszallern, Suzanna. “Hospital Construction Survey Results are In.” Health Facilities Management. Posted February 4, 2015. Web. September 25, 2015.
5. “CDW Healthcare’s Analytics in Healthcare. CDWNewsroom.com.” ND. Web. September 24, 2015.
6. Accenture Consumer Patient Engagement Survey US Report

Friday, March 3, 2017

ICW Prototype

New Prototype


Technology has improved enormously during the last years and had a strong impact on almost every industry. New applications, machinery and products entered the market and changed the work environment for many. This trend and adoption of more innovative ideas also reached the healthcare sector. It helped to improve the quality of the methods being used to help patients  more successful, but, it also increased the hours spend each week on computer, mobile devices and screens.
We at ICW always want to be a step ahead and create new products to help you to have the best possible work environment.  
Here are some sample images of our newest prototype of our Dual Monitor vertical mount with a keyboard.



 Some details:

  • only mounted on an Elite 5216
  • will most likely work on the MD18 and non-articulating arms such as the Titan arms series 
  • the extended EV7 monitor mount does not move forward and backwards and is in a 5 degree angle towards the monitor
  • support only standard monitors, no All In One's
  • we recommend Mini CPU's mounted on the wall or track, but scanner mount is also okay
  • we recommend this mount to be on MD track for mounting strength

Stay tuned for an Elite 5216 with dual vertical mounts without keyboard.












Wednesday, February 22, 2017

ICW's newest products displayed at HIMSS17


ICW is proud to have the chance to participate at HIMSS17, the largest Healthcare Conference & Exhibition in the US. From February 19-23, 2017 in Orlando, Florida.
Just in time for the event ICW has announced a few new products & improvements. So if you don't have the chance to visit us at Booth 2443 you can take a look them at our website. Here are some quick facts and impressions.



The CPU12 protective mount for small form-factor computers is one of our newest innovative products which we recently added to our large variety of already existing products.
The CPU12 fits a wide range of small form-factor computers that are compatible with 75 mm or 100 mm vesa patterns; sizes up to 8” wide x 9” high x 2” deep (20.3 cm x 22.8 cm x 5 cm).
Cables are neatly stowed inside the case and exit through either top or bottom wire ports.
Too remove the small form-factor computer from the case, simply disconnect cables and lift the computer up and out. No tools are necessary.




A new line of Medical Device mounts.The wide selection of them covers the majority of medical devices in hospitals and clinics and can be attached to Medical carts and on walls, ceilings, poles, and headwalls.
Product Details:
- ICW brackets fit most medical devices including Nihon     Kohden, Welch Allyn, GE and Philipps
- Can mount to tracks, channels, carts, headwalls and walls
- Many standard and custom configurations available
- Select the components that meet your needs
- Complete design and customization available on-site at our facility in Medford, Oregon 





Sophisticated new colors to enhance your d├ęcor.
















So don't wait too long long and stop by at our Booth to see for yourself what our products can do for you to improve your ergonomics, safety, design and of course overall work-flow.