The use of computerized simulation and sensor technology will play a bigger role in the healthcare industry as key methods to improve patient safety and quality of care, according to Richard Boyd, the chief architect of Lockheed Martin Virtual World Labs. Boyd gave the closing keynote address today on the final day of the 2011 Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society exhibition and conference in Orlando, Fla.
Game tech seen coming to healthcare
The few thousand HIMSS attendees who stayed until the conference's close got a thought-provoking lesson in how gaming technology will be used in healthcare to improve everything from a physician's surgical skills to how caregivers interact with one another and with patients in the emergency room.
“We now have the ability to create simulation environments in healthcare,” Boyd said.
For example, sensors will be able to track all human activity and motion during an episode of care in an ER or operating room and capture and store that information for future use, he said. Organizations will be able to analyze that information and come up with better ways for physicians, nurses and others to physically work with one another and with their surrounding medical equipment to make care better and safer, Boyd said. Sensors also could be used to track and improve the fine-motor skills of surgeons during training, Boyd said. And sensors could allow physicians to control medical images and test results with their hands and without the use of a keyboard or mouse while treating patients, he added.
Computerized simulation, meanwhile, will offer opportunities for caregivers to practice increasingly complex medical tasks and become proficient at them before performing them on real patients, according to Boyd.
Boyd said Lockheed Martin has several research projects underway that attempt to apply the simulation and sensor technologies developed in the aviation industry to healthcare and that the firm is looking for collaboration partners from the healthcare information technology field.
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