KANPUR/DELHI: In what could bring big relief to the medical fraternity, nurses and attendants might soon not need to worry about constantly monitoring the fluid level of IV bottles attached to every hospital bed to give saline and medicines to patients.
To ensure that nurses don’t have to check the fluid flow of every saline bottle now and then, the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kanpur has developed a pocket-friendly device for IV level monitoring. The system comprises a smart electronic label, a reader, and a mobile application.
“If there is a blockage in the flow of the fluid or its level has gone down to a specified mark, it will send an alert to the mobile application or the monitoring device i.e. TV screen using Bluetooth technology,” said Baquer Mazhari, a professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering at IIT, Kanpur.
The system has been developed by the National Centre for Flexible Electronics (NCFlexE), using flexible electronics technology which involves printing electronic circuits on flexible plastic substrates and transparent conductive polyester film.
The smart electric label, integrated into the IV bottle itself, is a sensor printed on paper using special ink. “It sends an electric message to the reader attached to the stand, which, in turn, sends an alert to the device connected using Bluetooth technology,” Prof Mazhari told The New Indian.
The system not only alerts nurses when the fluid level goes down or when a blockage occurs, but they can monitor it in real time.
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“The system is ready and has been tested internally. We will be deploying it at our hospital on the IIT campus in the coming 3-4 months and will see how it goes,” he informed.
“The best part is that it is pocket-friendly – both for the hospital as well as patients. If a hospital opts for the solution, it will have to purchase the software and a reader for every bed. While a reader is expected to cost Rs 400 to Rs 500, which will be a one-time investment per bed, the smart label will raise the cost of the bottle by some paise,” Prof Mazhari added.
Even though the product is in the trial phase, there is already a huge enthusiasm among doctors and paramedics.
“We do need such kinds of products in the market. I am sure this solution will be very helpful and will be a success. It will save a lot of time for nurses and improve accuracy,” Dr Avinder Sabharwal, director of Delhi’s Jeewan Hospital & Nursing Home Gate No 2 told The New Indian.
Dr Sabharwal, who comes from a family of 140 doctors, further said, “Giving a particular amount of a particular fluid to post-operative patients and patients of kidney and heart every hour is very important. This solution will help ensure that. It will help nurses in giving the exact quantity of fluids prescribed by the doctor.”