Better patient monitoring for better patient outcomes

Project: Extending ECG signals to multiple screens via LAN

Major challenges: Continual patient monitoring from multiple locations.

Product: Agility

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St. Jansdal Hospital in Harderwijk, the Netherlands, is a medium-sized regional hospital. One of their specialties is cardiology, the branch of medicine that deals with diseases and abnormalities of the heart. As part of modernizing the cardiology department, the IT department wanted to ensure continual monitoring of patients using heart monitors that medical staff could access and view in various locations.

The Challenge

The cardiology department employs electrocardiogram devices, also called ECG or EKG machines. These machines record the electrical activity of the heart through electrodes placed on a patient's body. At St. Jansdal, ECG machines send signals to a central computer connected to the equipment. St. Jansdal personnel wanted to be able to view the results of patients' ECGs from various locations, so they wanted the central computer to be able to transmit signals to different screens in the facility for easy access for doctors and nurses from the cardiology department.

The St. Jansdal technology department had worked with Black Box Netherlands before, so it was natural for them to turn to them again to find an extension solution that would integrate into their patient rooms.

The Solution

After a thorough evaluation of requirements and consultation with Black Box, St. Jansdal decided to install Agility IP-Based KVM extenders for their video distribution systems. By using the Agility system of IP-based transmitters and receivers, the images from the heart monitors are displayed in several locations via the hospital's network. Transmitters in the team room and the medicine closet are also equipped with audio, which can be extended with the Agility system. Because the Agility extenders can be integrated into the IP network infrastructure, it simplified installation and saved on costs.

Having a central control appliance ensures independent functioning and configuration of the system within the department. The Agility Control Appliance guarantees that the signal extension is continual to the multiple displays. In addition, when using the Agility, staff members can easily create an extra workstation by connecting a keyboard and mouse to one of the displays. This gives users direct access to the central computer via an IP-connection.

A great advantage of this Agility setup is that it is easily scalable, so it can grow with the hospital. Apart from that, this system is always operational and requires little in the way of replacement maintenance. Department staff found it easy to learn, and have already expanded the number of displays from four to seven locations.