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How GE Healthcare is Harnessing the Power of WeChat in Field Service
China is one of the most densely populated regions in the world, and is home to around 1.4 billion men, women, and children. It takes a significant amount of infrastructure to service such a vast quantity of people, and nowhere is the need felt more keenly than in the healthcare system. Due in part to the impact of an aging population and the resultant increase in need for hospital visits and medical treatments, the demand for medical devices is growing at an exponential rate.
Advanced medical devices can mean the difference between life and death in the modern healthcare industry, making them one of the most important features of hospitals today.
Doctors and nurses therefore need to be confident that the devices in their toolbox are maintained to a high standard and can be relied on to function as intended whenever they are required.
Sir Run Run Shaw Hospital
It’s with this demand in mind that Eastern China healthcare facility and Zhejiang University School of Medicine affiliate, Sir Run Run Shaw Hospital has incorporated an innovative GE Healthcare Platform to help manage the maintenance of its 14,000 healthcare devices.
(Image source: ge.com)
The Predix Asset Performance Management (APM) Platform is designed specifically to meet the demands of any modern industry where the maintenance of sophisticated equipment is vital to the ongoing productivity and efficiency of the organizations which rely on them.
“We are integrating information task management into all medical processes, which improves the medical quality, safety, and efficiency of our hospital,” said Deputy Secretary of the Party Committee at Sir Run Run Shaw Hospital, Qiao Kai. “There is urgent importance to managing these devices by digital means. More than managing devices, we must maximize the use of these resources.”
The GE APM Platform
The APM platform is the world’s first cloud-based asset management solution of its type. With it, hospitals such as Sir Run Run Shaw can optimize the management of their assets through the entirety of their life cycles.
Through the platform, the hospital can monitor all 14,000 medical devices in real-time and receive dynamic updates from the equipment. Sophisticated diagnostic sensors can detect faults before they become an issue and repairs can be requested via the WeChat messaging platform. This feature, combined with the ability to schedule regular and efficient maintenance, helps keep medical devices up and running, and significantly reduces downtime.
By gathering usage data, the APM platform can also help build predictive models, helping hospitals better plan spending on upgrading or replacing redundant medical devices.
“Big data analysis is critical to guiding and improving maintenance and quality control,” said Director of the Device Division at Sir Run Run Shaw Hospital, Liu Jinchu. “Using data we have accumulated, we are able to create various forecasts based on the models. This can make our work more efficient, help us manage the budget accordingly, and achieve a higher return on investment.”
The APM platform is also being upgraded with a “swap center” feature, developed in collaboration between GE Healthcare and Sir Run Run Shaw Hospital. Designed to further increase the useful life cycle of medical devices, the swap center can monitor usage and help medical professionals access equipment when they need it. Idle devices can be reallocated to areas of greatest need using sophisticated algorithms, to more efficiently meet clinical demands.
By mobilizing idle assets and increasing the usage rates of fixed devices, the hospital can make sure all devices are being used to their maximum potential, boosting clinical satisfaction, and yielding an improved ROI.
Effective management of medical devices and their ongoing maintenance is an essential function of the modern healthcare environment. As treatments become ever more sophisticated and the average human lifespan continues an upward trajectory, the demand for effective medical devices is only going to increase.
However, with asset management platforms such as GE’s APM using the latest in digital technology to change the ways in which these devices are monitored and maintained, the probability of critical equipment failing at a crucial time can be reduced to its absolute minimum.
“Sir Run Run Shaw Hospital expects APM to help it plan appropriately for the next phase of growth,” said Qiao Kai. “Our business volume had doubled by the end of 2017, and without the support of these information systems, such a large increase in business volume is unimaginable.”