Invented by Guy Robert JOHNSON, Gary A. Freeman, Ulrich Herken, Zoll Medical Corp

The market for low-power signaling medical devices and personnel is rapidly expanding as the healthcare industry continues to embrace technological advancements. These devices and personnel play a crucial role in patient care, monitoring, and communication, offering numerous benefits for both healthcare providers and patients. Low-power signaling medical devices refer to a range of equipment that utilize low-energy consumption technologies to transmit important data and signals. These devices include wearable sensors, remote monitoring devices, and wireless communication tools. They are designed to be lightweight, portable, and energy-efficient, making them ideal for use in various healthcare settings. One of the key advantages of low-power signaling medical devices is their ability to provide continuous monitoring of patients’ vital signs and health parameters. For instance, wearable sensors can track heart rate, blood pressure, oxygen levels, and other vital signs in real-time. This continuous monitoring allows healthcare professionals to detect any abnormalities or changes in a patient’s condition promptly. It also enables early intervention and prevents potential complications. Remote monitoring devices are another essential component of the low-power signaling medical device market. These devices allow patients to be monitored from the comfort of their homes, reducing the need for frequent hospital visits. Patients with chronic conditions or those recovering from surgeries can benefit greatly from remote monitoring, as it provides a sense of security and allows for timely intervention if necessary. Remote monitoring also reduces the burden on healthcare facilities, freeing up resources for more critical cases. Wireless communication tools are crucial for efficient and effective communication between healthcare personnel. Low-power signaling devices enable seamless communication among doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals, ensuring quick response times and improved coordination. This is particularly important in emergency situations or when immediate medical attention is required. The market for low-power signaling medical devices is not limited to the devices themselves. The demand for trained personnel who can operate and interpret the data from these devices is also on the rise. These personnel, such as biomedical engineers, technicians, and data analysts, play a vital role in ensuring the accurate functioning of the devices and the proper interpretation of the collected data. Their expertise is essential in providing accurate diagnoses, treatment plans, and recommendations based on the data obtained from the devices. The increasing adoption of low-power signaling medical devices and personnel is driven by several factors. Firstly, the growing prevalence of chronic diseases and an aging population necessitate continuous monitoring and personalized care. Secondly, advancements in technology have made these devices more affordable, reliable, and user-friendly. Finally, the COVID-19 pandemic has further highlighted the importance of remote monitoring and telehealth solutions, driving the demand for low-power signaling devices and personnel. In conclusion, the market for low-power signaling medical devices and personnel is expanding rapidly, driven by the need for continuous monitoring, remote patient care, and efficient communication in the healthcare industry. These devices offer numerous benefits, including real-time monitoring, remote patient care, and improved coordination among healthcare professionals. The demand for trained personnel to operate and interpret the data from these devices is also on the rise. As technology continues to advance, the market for low-power signaling medical devices and personnel is expected to grow further, revolutionizing patient care and improving healthcare outcomes.

The Zoll Medical Corp invention works as follows

The present disclosure is directed towards apparatuses, methods, and systems that include at the very least, one medical devices with a device transmitter configured to wirelessly transmit a device signal containing at least unique identifier information. An information system is configured for maintaining an active list of inventory of medical devices associated with an emergency response vehicle. And the processor is configured for automatically determining presence of the one or more medical devices.

Background for Low-power signaling medical devices and personnel

Medical devices that are used for emergency medical services (EMS) or in emergency response situations such as defibrillators are usually complex and expensive. The inventories of these devices (either verbally or electronically) are usually done manually. It can be difficult to track and locate medical equipment in certain situations such as mass casualty incidents.

Further medical devices can be equipped with wireless data transceivers that transmit medical information to a remote database for storage. Some designs do not include long-range communications components, like cellular or WiFi transceivers, and in certain situations (like mass casualty situations), long-range methods of communication may be unavailable. In such cases, medical devices might use relatively short-range device-to-device communications methods (such near-field communication (NFC), Bluetooth and similar) to transmit data.

The system described in the embodiments includes at the very least a medical device with a device transmitter that is capable of wirelessly broadcasting a device message containing at the very least unique identifier information; an information system consisting of a system receiver, an at the least display device, an at the least processor and at the least database. Where the information system has been configured to keep an active list for medical devices associated with an emergency response vehicle. And the processor is designed to automatically detect the presence of the medical device when the system transcei

The system includes at the least, a medical device with a device transmitter that is capable of wirelessly broadcasting a device message including unique identifiers; an information system including a system receiver, at the least, a display device, a processor and at the least, a database. The information system is designed to keep an active list for medical devices associated with an emergency response vehicle.

The system described in the embodiments includes at the very least a medical device with a device transmitter that is capable of wirelessly broadcasting a device message containing at the very least unique identifier information; an information system consisting of a system receiver, an at the least display device, an at the least processor and at the least database. Where the information system has the capability to keep an active list medical devices related to a specific emergency response situation. And the processor can automatically determine the presence of the medical device when the system receiver

The following detailed description will show and describe illustrative examples of the invention. The drawings and detailed descriptions are therefore to be considered as illustrative and not restrictive.

FIG. The system 100 in Figure 1 is used to determine the presence of medical devices 102. Medical devices 102 may be used with an emergency response vehicle, or in a specific emergency response situation. Medical devices 102 transmit data wirelessly using low-power Bluetooth (NFC), WiFi (cellular), ZigBee (radio), and other technologies to an information system (e.g. hand-held device (tablet), smart phone (laptop), desktop computer (laptop)). This is done via a transceiver system 106. Medical devices 102 may receive signals from sensors or electrodes (114) coupled to a patient 116. In some embodiments a processor uses these signals to monitor, determine, or calculate different patient conditions. The processor 118 can, for example, monitor, detect and/or calculate heart rate and blood pressure as well as temperature, respiration, blood oxygen, end-tidal CO2 level, pulmonary functions, blood glucose, and/or body weight. In some embodiments of the medical device 102, a display is provided for displaying data related to one or more medical parameters. The display 120, for example, may present an ECG.

The medical apparatus 102 receives signal from one or multiple sensors or electrodes (114) attached to the patient 116. In certain embodiments, the processor 118 may use such signals to monitor or detect various patient conditions, and/or calculate them. The processor 118 can, for example, monitor, detect and/or calculate heart rate and blood pressure as well as temperature, respiration, blood oxygen, end-tidal CO2 level, pulmonary functions, blood glucose, and/or body weight. In some embodiments of the medical device 102, a display is provided for displaying data related to one or more medical parameters. The display 120, for example, may present an ECG.

The UUID is a 16-byte string that can be used to distinguish a large grouping of medical devices. All Automatic External Defibrillators made by the same manufacturer, for example, would have the same UUID. The information system 108 can then identify the AEDs by using the medical devices 102. The major identifier is a 2-byte string that can be used to identify a subset within a larger group of medical devices. The minor identifier is a 2-byte string that identifies a single medical device 102. The data indicative a power is used to determine the distance (proximity) of the medical device 102 from the information system. Data indicative of power can be defined as the strength (or distance) of the signal between the medical system 108 and the device 102. The information system 108 records this value and uses it as a base to estimate the distance.

In certain embodiments (discussed in more detail below), a transceiver, consistent with different aspects of the disclosure, can provided to a medical device personnel 112. The transceiver will wirelessly broadcast the crew signal to the system 108. The transceiver can be used as a standalone device or be included in a smartwatch, smart phone or tablet carried by the medical device personnel 112 or worn on them. In embodiments in which the transceiver is part of a device the processor is configured to broadcast wirelessly the crew signal regularly. When the transceiver is provided as a stand-alone device, it also includes a device processor configured to wirelessly transmit the crew signal regularly. The transceiver provided to medical device personnel 112. is similar to the medical devices 102, and carries a crew signal in a short message with a UUID, which is associated with medical device personnel 112. It also includes a Major Indenter, Minor Indenter, as well as data indicative of the power (signal strength). The calibration value is stored as a value that shows the distance the transceiver is from the information system. This calibration value is obtained by measuring the distances the transceiver is from the information system (e.g., one foot, two feet or three feet), noting the signal strength and storing this association. This allows the spatial location of the device 124 to be determined in relation to the distance it has from the information system. When the transceiver is associated with medical device personnel (112) it is called a mobile transmitter.

A database 126, in communication with the system 108, stores device information, such as device types, model and serial numbers, capabilities of the device, the assigned setting, etc. The database 126 contains information, including an active list for medical devices associated with a particular emergency response vehicle. The database 126 stores information about medical devices that are stored by the information system 108. In some embodiments, the database 126 or another database stores information about medical device personnel 112. The database 126 stores information on medical device personnel 112. The database 126 may also store information about the storage capacity of an Emergency Response Vehicle, as well as data indicating the location where the active list for medical devices is stored within the Emergency Response Vehicle.

The information system 108 determines automatically the presence of medical devices 102 in response to the system transmitter 106 receiving the signal from the device (or crew). In certain embodiments the information system 108 determines the location of the medical device 102 by measuring the signal strength of the crew signal or device signal. The information system 108 also indicates on at least one display 110 whether the medical device is present. In embodiments in which the location-based conditions are measured, the system 108 provides a location-based indication on the display device. Wirelessly transmitted data from one of medical devices 102 are unique. The information system 108 can automatically detect the presence of multiple medical devices 102 when it receives the signal associated with the device. The information system 108 will display an indication if it detects the presence of the medical device on the display device. In some embodiments, information system 108 can be configured to scan known transceivers. The information system 108 also logs any contact events that occur if the transceiver is detected.

As noted above, when the system transceiver receives a crew or device signal associated with the medical device 102, the information system is configured to determine its presence automatically. The information system 108 will display an indication on at least one of the display devices 110 in these cases if one or more medical devices 102, and/or medical personnel 112 is present. The display device 110 shows data about each medical device 102 or medical device personnel 112. This is if the system 108 detects the signal from the device or crew.

The embodiments described herein can also be viewed as methods that are operated or executed by the system as discussed in accordance with the various aspects of this disclosure.

FIG. The example of communication and detection using a transceiver (202), carried by a medical equipment or by medical device personnel is shown in FIG. As mentioned above in relation to FIG. The transceiver transmits a signal of data (208/210/212), which is detected by the information system 204. The system transceiver (not shown) of the information system 204 has a range (206) in which it senses the data signal. The data signal (208/210/212), for example, is shown with three different strengths. The first signal strength (208) is outside of the range of the 204 information system, while the second signal strength (210), touches or is adjacent the range of 204 information system, and the third strength 212, is within the 200 range of the 204 information system. The information system will not sense the presence of a transceiver (and any associated medical devices or medical device personnel), if the first strength is 208. This is because the transceiver is outside the range 206. The information system is able to sense the presence of a transceiver (and any associated medical devices or personnel), but data/information that is carried by the device is outside the range of 206. This means the system is unable to read/store the data/information. When the transceiver communicates at third strength 212 the presence of the device (and associated personnel) can be sensed by information system 204. The data/information carried on the transceiver is also able to be read or stored by information system 204.

The information system 204 can read the data/information from the transceiver when it detects the presence of a transceiver communicating at third strength. The information system 204, as noted above can include a data base that stores a list of active medical devices associated with an emergency vehicle or an emergency response situation. In some embodiments, the system 204 includes a second database which stores an active list medical device personnel that is associated with a response vehicle or an emergency response situation. The information system logs 216 the fact that the data/information transmitted by the transceiver has been read by the system 204. The information system 204 can then track the presence of medical devices and medical device personnel. The information system 204 can also provide an alert 218 (on the user interface) to indicate the presence of medical devices, medical device personnel or both in response of sensing the presence the transceiver associated with medical devices or medical personnel. The information system 108 may also display, on the display, inventory information that can be checked by an individual (such as the crew member of the emergency response vehicle, or the person in charge of the emergency response situation) to verify if all medical devices are reloaded.

In certain embodiments, by sensing the relative intensity of the data signals (208/210/212), like the device signal or the crew signal, broadcasted by the transceiver, the information system can automatically determine the spatial location of the medical device and medical device personnel associated with the transceiver. The information system 204 can also (via its processor), display an alert on the display device to indicate that the associated medical equipment or medical device personnel are present. The information system 204 can also indicate that the medical equipment or personnel are missing if the data signal (208/210/212), for example, the crew signal or device signal, is out of the range of the system 204.

In certain embodiments the information system is configured to measure the signal strength of a data signal (208/210/212), for example a device signal, crew signal, or other signal broadcast by the transceiver and the associated medical device, or medical device personnel. The information system 204, in these embodiments determines if the medical device or the medical device personnel are in at least three different location-based situations in response to the data signal. The data signal (208/210/212), as noted above, indicates whether the transmitter 202 is outside of the range of the system 204’s information (first strength 208), touches or is adjacent the range of the system 204’s information (second strength 212) or is within the system 204’s information (third strength 212). The information system 204 can display on its display device the presence of at least one device or personnel, as well as the location-based status of that device or personnel. The display can indicate the location-based conditions as if the transceiver is outside of the range 206 (first signal strength 208), if the transceiver is in a pair condition (third strength 212), if the transceiver is close enough to sense but not close enough for pairing (e.g. an intermediate condition).

FIG. The figure 3 shows an example of communication between a computer networked 304 and an information system 302, which is consistent with the various aspects in this disclosure. The information system 302 can communicate with medical devices or beacons via low-power signals transmitted by a transceiver, as discussed above. In certain embodiments, the information system 302 can wirelessly communicate to the networked computers 304, either for data exchange or data offloading. As described above, the networked computers 304 and 302 may both include databases. Each database can contain data that indicates the storage capacity of an Emergency Response Vehicle (or an emergency situation) and the storage location of active medical device inventory in the Emergency Response Vehicle (or the emergency situation).

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