Motion sensing technology in the IV room

I’ve always been intrigued by motion sensing technology like Microsoft’s Kinect for the Xbox system. My interest was rekindled last week when I came across an article at Fast Company taking about Kinect Hacks.  I do what I always do when I read something interesting, I Tweet about it.

John Humphreys, a pharmacist that I interact with on Twitter (@johnpharmd), saw the Tweet and Tweeted back that “if you like Kinect, you’ll love Leap Motion”.

I actually have a Leap Motion unit and while I haven’t had much time to play with it, so far I’ve been a bit underwhelmed. Perhaps I’m not giving the little device a fair shake. After all, I haven’t spent more than an hour with it. And since I have some free time these days I’ve vowed that I’ll spend some time this week experimenting with the Leap Motion controller. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Motion sensing controllers like the Kinect and Leap Motion have created quite a stir because of their potential in the gaming market. Let’s face it, fighting bad guys with your fists instead of a controller is cool. And I’m all in for using these devices for gaming, but I also see potential for them in certain niche areas of the pharmacy.

Once area that I think they would have tremendous value is in the IV room. When technicians compound medications in an IV hood it’s all about technique, and while we’ve developed several systems to allow pharmacists to peek at the compounding process we’ve done nothing to evaluate that process in real time. Enter motion sensing devices.

Placing a motion sensing device in the back of the hood would allow one to not only utilize the cameras to snap photos of the compounding process, but could potentially be used evaluate the compounding process as well. A Kinect or Leap Motion unit could potentially identify items in real-time, alert users of wrong choices, or even let the user know when he/she has placed something incorrectly in the hood, i.e. blocked airflow, etc.

It’s an interesting use case for these devices. I wonder if anyone is doing any research in this area. If you’re interested let me know I’ve thought about this quite a bit.


2 thoughts on “Motion sensing technology in the IV room”

  1. The potential of motion sensor is very interesting! Imagine a gamified version of a preparation protocol where you would score points with correct hand position and making the lowest number of movement!
    One of the first thing I tried when I got my Leap Motion was to experiment on how it reacted with mirrors… because a laminar flow hood is usually a big mirror! As expected, it did not work so well. I think it would be the same thing in the hood.
    We need to develop a different type of surface in our laminar flow hood. If we want to include software vision and motion detection, we need a matte surface with patterns that would enable camera calibration. All this while being resistant enough for disinfection.

  2. Good thoughts Denis. I hadn’t given much thought to what the surface would do to the motion sensors. Nice to know someone out there is thinking ahead! – Jerry

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