Is Heart Monitoring a Must-Have for Digital Transformation?
“What do heart monitoring systems tell us? What makes them so important that every surgeon needs them during surgery? And what can we learn from these systems when looking at them from an IT perspective?”
Have any of you been in the hospital lately? Not a place you like to visit, in my opinion, especially now with the global pandemic going on.
If you have ever been there, you must have seen the heart monitoring devices. These devices are standard equipment for doctors or surgical teams and are used in every hospital globally. There is a massive market for them!
These devices’ fascination started because my wife suffers from Arrhythmia. We sometimes go for a checkup, where she gets hooked up to the heart monitor. An arrhythmia is an uneven heartbeat. It means your heart is out of its usual rhythm. It may feel like your heart skipped a beat, added a beat, or is “fluttering.” It might feel like it’s beating too fast or too slow. Or you might not notice anything at all.
The heart monitor graph is an excellent example of presenting essential information effectively
Arrhythmias can be dangerous, or they could be harmless. If you feel something unusual happening with your heartbeat, you, of course, get medical help right away so doctors can find out why it’s happening and what you need to do about it. I started to think about what the correlation is between a doctor and an IT engineer.
Don’t get me wrong; we at Login VSI are not building any heart monitoring systems or making software for actually monitoring a person’s heart. We are fascinated by how these systems present the information and that it is such an essential piece of equipment in the healthcare industry. It provides information effectively so that every doctor understands it regardless of their location or language.
So, why are doctors connecting their patients to a heart monitoring system? Often even for procedures that are not directly related to the core. I believe one of the reasons is to see their actions on the patient in real-time.
The heart monitor alone tells a lot about the wellbeing of a patient. It provides answers to a lot of questions that the surgeon may have. In some cases, it shows more details with numbers, but for now, let’s think about the actual graph.
For me, this heart monitor graph is an excellent example of presenting essential information effectively. It answers questions for the doctor without offering too much information. One of the most important questions it answers is, of course, is my patient alive? It’s pretty crucial to get that information about your patient because it affects everything you do after that.
The second question is, at which rate is the heart of my patient beating at the moment? Is this an average heart rate, or is it higher than average? What is the heart rate compared to other people that I’ve examined with this solution and had the same disease or symptoms? Of course, doctors have a lot of experience and can respond quickly to the information. They don’t physically compare heart monitor results, but they have a baseline – The User Experience Index, so to say.
As you can imagine, there are numerous more questions, but another important one is, “how do medicine affect the patient?”. What happens if I give the patient a bit more of a particular medicine? What happens with alternative medicine?
Even when a doctor knows what a particular medicine does to the patient and has studied it in-depth, they still confirm the results through a heart monitor. They want confirmation of the results they expect. If the patient is allergic to the medicine and didn’t know about it, they can immediately start with countermeasures. By acting fast, they mitigate the damages done as soon as possible.
There is a lesson we as IT specialists can learn from this. We are quite a bit like surgeons. Only often we are performing surgery on the blind. Our patient is this massive beast of a person we are cutting in to without knowing the exact effects. Of course, we have a general idea of the results, but wouldn’t it be great to learn upfront or see the effects soon after changing something? Also, there is often a disconnect between what we as “surgeons” are fixing and the actual problem for the patient. For example, if we only look at machine performance data, we don’t get the complete picture. We need to simulate actions a user performs daily, just as a doctor would check his patient’s vital signs and non-vital signs like speech, coordination, and more.
You can have tons of data and metrics about a machine’s performance, but in my experience, it’s no use if you can’t bring it back to a simple visualization that answers multiple questions. Then you get visualizations from various sources together for quick and easy analysis.
By looking at multiple complex data visualizations, we are consuming the visualization and all the information supporting it. We are looking at a summary of all the information and can operate on a different level. We can see the effect of the changes we make directly and learn the sweet spot between the performance, security, and business value of any workspace we create.
But it doesn’t stop there. What if you could clone your patient and use the outcome to prove a drug or therapy works instantly. There is a great quote from Einstein, “if you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” And that is precisely my point and what we try to achieve every day at Login VSI. We provide heart monitoring systems for IT Engineers. We are understandably presenting complicated stuff.
Perparim Bislimi will be presenting “Is Heart Monitoring a Must-Have for Digital Transformation?” on October 23 at VMUG Belgium.