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Empowering Healthcare Innovation at the Toronto Innovation Centre


January 27, 2017 - 2 Comments

There has never been a better time to innovate together, and a tour of the Toronto Innovation Centre will prove just that. Currently the only Cisco Innovation Centre in North America out of the nine across the world, we have a lot of opportunities around us. We are showcasing what is possible with digital transformation and the IoT (Internet of Things). We are making even more possible by investing and partnering with startups, accelerators, and universities to build innovative solutions. Right now through early April, our healthcare solutions and partnerships are being showcased in a custom-built healthcare space, reminiscent of various clinical areas one would find in hospitals and out in the community.


To demonstrate our innovations in healthcare, we are bringing it all together with illustrations at multiple points of the care continuum. Three different vignettes share a patient’s story at three different parts of their healthcare journey.

Let us start in the hospital room of a typical patient. Beside the bed, there is a swing-arm or footwall monitor, or perhaps a tablet using the Cisco Patient Connect interface, a comprehensive platform for bedside infotainment and patient interaction. While the patient is resting in their bed, they can call their friends and family using HD video embedded in Patient Connect. This is also extremely advantageous with discharge planning so that family can be ‘virtually present’ and participate in all the necessary steps to discharge and recovery, without necessarily being physically present. Doctors and nurses can ‘prescribe’ videos to enhance patient education around new medications, body mechanics post-surgery, learning how to live with a new condition and more. With Cisco Patient Connect, educational videos can be available on demand right at the patient’s fingertips, and the care team can check in on the patient’s viewing progress on assigned videos. Our platform also empowers the patient by displaying their progress reports, care team names and pictures, as well as their daily schedule – all at the push of a button, eliminating ‘surprise’ visits from phlebotomy and physiotherapy!

And what about the bed itself? With our partnership with Hill-Rom, a smart bed is enabling enhanced care and physical security. The bed measures heart and respiratory rates, weighs the patient, and helps prevent falls by sounding an alarm when a falls-risk patient tries to get out of bed. The cost savings for falls reductions is in the millions of dollars and more importantly presents reduced health risks to patients who are now at lower risk for a fall.

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Let us move to another crucial asset for care teams – the virtual patient observation medical cart. Hospitals have been looking for more cost-effective solutions to solve patient sitter costs while keeping patients at risk for elopement, falls, or patients who need to be closely watched such as neonates, safe. Dimension Data has developed the MONA [Mobile Observation Nursing Assistant] cart using much of Cisco’s technologies; these carts can be used to watch several patients at once by one patient sitter, all the while allowing for two-way communication between the sitter and patient. The top-mounted security camera enables pan-tilt-zoom for the sitter, and the DX70 allows for HD video interaction between the sitter and patient should the need arise. Powering it all is a 13 hour battery pack and a wireless access point on a four-caster pole, making the MONA cart truly mobile. The cart can be placed at the bedside to continually watch the patient, allowing one sitter to monitor multiple patients at once. Not only does this help the hospital realize dramatic cost savings and powerful falls prevention metrics, but it also streamlines their workflows by meeting the patients’ needs more quickly and effectively – for example, requests for blanketscan be routedto the appropriate care team member, enabling the team to practice at the top of their scope.

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Let us take a step back from the hospital, and head into the office of a private practice. Our DX80, an all in one desktop collaboration tool with built in HD video, is sitting on the desk with diagnostic peripherals. With a remote care environment like this one, distance is no barrier and healthcare has no boundaries. The remote physician can consult with patients 5 or 5,000 kilometres away without a loss of quality, and without travel costs and time lost due to travel. Clinicians are able to see more patients and patients are able to access high quality care from anywhere, and on any device. The DX80 could not only be sitting on a physician’s desk, but also in a community health centre, a remote clinic, or even a patient’s home.
This is just a snapshot of what is possible with digital transformation and IoT in the healthcare industry. Are you going to visit the Toronto Innovation Centre to see it for yourself?

There’s never been a better time to empower healthcare innovation. #NeverBetter



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2 Comments

  1. Great overview on the Innovation Center - excited to visit with our customers

    • Thank you! And we would love to host you-- please start planning soon, as our room will be live until early April only.