The more tragic aspect of COVID-19 is that a patient with the virus can not get physical care or comfort—not without endangering those they come in contact with. The fact of the matter is in-person checks on patients is an inherent risk and requires using up valuable protective equipment (not to mention time) that might be necessary for urgent situations.
To better protect health workers and reduce supply usage, Google and New York City’s Mount Sinai Hospital have developed a safer approach. They’re rolling out a new system that uses two Nest Cams per room for monitoring — one to check on and interact with patients, and one to monitor vitals. Special-built consoles at nurse stations let healthcare workers oversee their patients and respond to some requests without having to don safety gear. Mount Sinai starts receiving the monitoring system this week.
Google ultimately plans to provide 10,000 Nest Cams and the appropriate consoles to hospitals across the US. This is coming right as COVID-19 hospitalizations appear to be on the decline, but it could still prove vital if it both reduces the risks for hospital staff and helps them properly care for as many patients as possible. For all of us, the use of these remote monitoring systems represents a peek into the future of hospital care.