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7 Tools That Hospitals Use To Monitor Patients

We build devices that monitor temperature, humidity, and water pressure. This much you probably know. But, we are interested any and all monitoring, sensing, and data collection, specifically to the industries that we serve. Hospitals use our temperature data loggers to keep track of vaccine temperatures, analyze test results, and adhere to incubator standards. We're all over the hospital.

So, we've spent a decent amount of time in hospitals, looking around and watching as other monitoring devices kept track of patients. We decided to share some of that knowledge, if only to give your brain some more information. Here are the 7 monitoring tools that we've seen the most of in our visits:

1. Electrocardiograms

The classic electrocardiogram is a tool that you've seen in countless episodes of ER, Grey's Anatomy, and Scrubs. It's a device that is synonymous with "heart monitor" to people outside the hospital, and is used by doctors to monitor a patient's cardiac activity. It measures electrical signals from the heart, and converts them into wavelength form.

2. Blood Pressure Monitors

Non-invasive Hospital Grade Blood Pressure Monitors are used all the time in hospitals as a tool to monitor blood pressure, usually via a oscillometric measurement technique. They come with LED displays, some form of data retention, and . . . calibration! Yup, it is common practice to validate and calibrate these devices frequently.

3. Electronic Fetal Monitors

Electronic Fetal Monitors are used to monitor a fetus's heart rate, before and during labor. These tools are common to Maternity Departments in hospitals. Invasive and non-invasive, in high-risk cases, these monitors are used to check in with a fetus on more than just the cardiac monitoring. They come with their share of complications and warnings, however.

4. Pulse Oximeters

When doctors need to monitor the amount of oxygen in a patient's blood, they use a pulse oximeter. These little guys are the clothespin looking devices that attach to a patient's pointer finger. They were developed way back in 1935 by Karl Matthes.

5. Wearables

We talk about these kind of tools a little bit later in the magazine (check Page 21!), but we wanted to draw your attention to it now, in a broader sense. Wearable patient monitoring tools are everywhere in hospitals these days, and will become more and more common for monitoring a patient, especially in the case of remote monitoring within the hospital.

6. Capnograms

The capnogram is a tool used in hospitals to measure the respiratory system during intensive care, and for operations where anesthesia is involved. These tools monitor the amount of CO2 inhaled and exhaled, and then graph that data for doctors and nurses, who look for the direct and indirect signs of lung failure.

7. Body Temperature Monitors

Temperature! We love temperature at Dickson, so we couldn't resist putting this tool in the list. Body Temperature Monitors are used widely in a hospital, but a lot of times getting an accurate reading on a patient's thermoregulation in real-time can be a challenge.

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