Skilled nursing facilities have begun using more technologies with residents during the COVID-19 pandemic — mostly out of necessity. Yet many are seeing the benefits these devices can provide, both for caregivers and patients. Here are a just a few that facilities have been using:
• ThinkLabs One digital stethoscope: At a time when caregivers are doing their best to stay as socially distant from patients as possible, this stethoscope can be used at an extended distance or even remotely, and even under or over personal protective equipment.
The device can record and amplify heart and lung sounds, making them 100 times louder, which allows for better analysis of a patient’s health, and for multiple professionals in the facility or around the world to hear the results, said ThinkLabs founder and CEO Clive Smith. Smith said demand for the device, which retails for $499, has increased dramatically among nursing homes since March.
• Temi Robot: Some nursing homes have been using this or similar personal robots to decrease the amount of physical contact between staff and residents, to reduce the potential for virus spread and to save PPE supplies. A physician nurse is behind the controls and her face shows up on the robot’s computer screen. Temi can check breathing, blood pressure and other vitals, and cuts down on physical touching.
• CarePredict PinPoint Toolset: The technology offers contact tracing, location tracing, path tracing and room traffic tools to help retrace the paths of infected residents and determine who they may have come in contact with.
Using these and other technologies can make a huge difference in reducing the virus’ spread within a facility, Smith noted.