Yo, wouldn’t a high-tech laminar air flow hood be cool

We have so much technology around these days. I mean we have real-time patient monitoring, near field communication, telemedicine, smartphones, music and video in the cloud, and so on ad infinitum. So why is it that hospital pharmacies use the same old horizontal hoods that they’ve always used?

I’ve said it many times before, the IV room (a.k.a. the cleanroom) in hospital pharmacies is in need of a major overhaul. Sure, we went through the big USP <797> thing a few years ago, but we didn’t really change anything inside the IV room.

After following the stream of cool technology coming out of CES 2012 a couple of weeks ago I’ve decided that new IV hoods need to make use of the following:

– Continuous data collection. An IV hood should be smart. It should collect information in real time; air quality, flow, etc, and provide feedback to the user as well as anyone else that needs to monitor these things.

– IV hoods need to have a heads-up display made from Samsung’s Transparent Smart Window. Basically it’s a full blown Windows 7 machine built into a transparent LCD screen; pretty stinking cool. It could be used to view patient information like allergies, current medication regimen, labs, etc. In addition the Smart Window could offer the person in the hood feedback on what they’re making. Two-way video communication with a pharmacist outside the IV room? No problem. Or you could just use it to check your social media.


– The surface of the hood should be something similar to Microsoft Surface. As things are placed inside the hood the surface could collect and analyze information on the item, including what it is (barcode, RFID, NFC), whether or not it’s compatible with other things in the hood, if air flow is blocked, check the items against the patient for whom the compounded is being made via clinical decision support tools, and so on. Real-time clinical and operational information. 

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