Cool pharmacy technology – SMART-IV

Not exactly pharmacy technology. However, SMART-IV involves integration of iv infusions with bar code scanning at the patient bedside. That’s kind of pharmacy related, in a sort of roundabout way.

Check the video below for a look at how the system works. The commentary is in Dutch, so if you don’t speak Dutch you might be in trouble. Regardless, you’ll get the basic idea anyway.

SMART-IV is a wireless monitoring system for iv infusions. According to the company’s site “SMART-IV collects data by reading various barcodes. Nurses scan their own badge, the patient’s armband, the hook that the infusion is attached to and the IV drip bag itself. SMART-IV then links the infusion to the patient and saves all the data in a central server. Nurses can use the application developed by Cegeka to monitor the status on a tablet or computer. The application also creates a digital site map which they can use to monitor all infusion stands. Personnel can use this site map to navigate to each patient’s details. The system also gives an automatic warning when for example an infusion is (almost) empty or blocked.”

I wonder what potential value this could bring to U.S. healthcare systems. Much of what SMART-IV can accomplish is already possible with smart pump technology, i.e. warning when an infusion is almost empty or block. The piece that’s missing with smart pumps is the ability to bar code scan during pump programming. Some hospitals have started doing this, but it’s rare.

A majority of hospitals already use smart pump technology. Nearly 75% of U.S. hospitals are using smart pumps, with another 7.4% planning to acquire them within the next three years. Only 16.6% of hospitals report that they have no plans to use smart pumps.(1)  With that in mind I’m not sure that a system like SMART-IV would provide any added benefit to healthcare systems already using smart pumps. Still, if you’re not using smart pump technology, SMART-IV might be worth a look.

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(1) Fox, B. I., C. A. Pedersen, and K. F. Gumpper. “ASHP National Survey on Informatics: Assessment of the Adoption and Use of Pharmacy Informatics in U.S. Hospitals–2013.” American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy 72, no. 8 (April 15, 2015): 636–55. doi:10.2146/ajhp140274.

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