Mount Sinai Hospital has found an innovative use for Google Nest cameras, using them to help monitor and communicate with COVID-19 patients.
As the pandemic has swept the globe, and hit New York particularly hard, one of the challenges medical staff have faced is treating patients while simultaneously dealing with a severe shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE). There have been instances of doctors and nurses rushing in without PPE to save a patient’s life, only to succumb to the virus themselves.
Mount Sinai may have come up with one of the most creative ways to reduce contact, and thereby conserve PPE equipment, thanks to the use of Google Nest cameras.
“We needed to find a way to give caregivers the ability to check on and communicate with patients that could supplement in-person checks, also helping reduce the use of PPE,” writes Robbie Freeman, MSN, RN-BC in charge of the hospital’s clinical innovation efforts, in a guest post on Google’s blog. “Together with Google, we explored how to build a Nest Camera experience that would help health care workers more efficiently care for patients and preserve PPE.
“Starting this week, we began installing two Nest Cameras in more than a hundred rooms being used to help Coronavirus patients—in most rooms one will be used to monitor and communicate with patients and the other will monitor their vitals. Video from the cameras will be livestreamed to a purpose built console located in Mount Sinai nurse stations (Google will not store this footage or have access to it). This purpose-built console was designed to aid health care workers; it allows for monitoring patients, tracking vitals and talking with the patients. Now that health care providers can help patients from their stations, it saves both time and PPE.”
This is an innovative use for Google’s cameras and, as Freeman points out, will likely be copied by hospitals across the country.