Welcome!

News Feed Item

GE to Develop Robotic-Enabled Intelligent System Which Could Save Patients Lives and Hospitals Millions

Imagine an intelligent system managing the surgical tool sterilization process in a hospital – ensuring safe delivery of care, enabling new levels of hospital efficiency, and delivering with surgical accuracy all of the medical devices doctors need to perform life-saving procedures. At GE Global Research, the technology development arm for the General Electric Company (NYSE: GE), scientists envision such a future and will soon begin a groundbreaking project designed to leverage the power of the Industrial Internet to transform the way hospitals manage and track their thousands of surgical tools.

Pictured is one robotic arm that GE researchers plan to use as part of a robotic automation system f ...

Pictured is one robotic arm that GE researchers plan to use as part of a robotic automation system for hospital sterile processing. This arm would be capable of picking up, placing, organizing, and accounting for the medical implements that go into surgical toolkits. (Photo: Business Wire)

Working with GE Healthcare and the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs (VA), Global Research scientists will develop a prototype system capable of locating, sorting, delivering, and sterilizing surgical tools with little oversight. A mash up of technology, including robotic systems, RFID, and computer vision will form the backbone of the automated system. Tools such as clamps and scalpels will be provided a unique ID so that they are readily identifiable by various robotic components. The prototype system will perform various tasks, including kitting of surgical tools, movement throughout the sterilization process, and transport to and from the operating theater ensuring the correct tools are in the right place, at the right time, and in sterile and working order. Click HERE to see a video which further outlines the project and shows a few of the robots GE is considering using.

“The technologies we’re investigating have been used to automate manufacturing processes in industrial settings for years, and we believe they, in combination with a new level of intelligence, can have a substantial impact in hospitals,” said Lynn DeRose, Principal Investigator and Auto-ID technology expert in the Distributed Intelligent Systems Lab at GE Global Research. “At GE, we’re uniquely positioned to construct a smart solution that can make operating rooms run more efficiently, save millions of dollars in healthcare costs and lead to better patient outcomes.”

In most hospitals today, tools are inspected, washed, and counted multiple times by hand. This process is inefficient, fraught with errors, and could lead to critical delays, and more importantly, adverse patient events. According to the Institute of Medicine, between 44,000 and 98,000 patients die every year due to preventable medical errors accounting for a $12-$25 billion cost to the U.S. healthcare system. Automating the device recognition, delivery, and accounting processes is expected to significantly reduce hospital costs.

Expected benefits include:

  • Increased patient safety, hospital quality and cost performance through reduction in surgical infections
  • Increased efficiency in OR scheduling due to increased kit accuracy and reduction in instrument count time
  • Increased hospital throughput from reduction of set-up and room turnaround time

Having an intelligent automated solution handle the labor-intensive asset management tasks has the added benefit of freeing-up hospital personnel, who are in many cases already stretched thin. Staff could be retrained and re-deployed to perform more patient-focused jobs.

“According to experts in the field, the surgical operation and recovery setting is considered the fastest growing and most resource intensive section of the hospital, accounting for approximately 30 - 50% of a hospital’s budget,” said DeRose. “Simply put, the operating theater is the single largest contributor to a facility’s bottom line. Any gains in efficiency that lead to more revenue being generated will be felt in a big way.”

Perhaps the biggest challenge of this project will be to train the robots to handle and test specific implements. “Even maneuvering something as simple as a pair of scissors requires lengthy coded instructions for a robot,“ DeRose went on to say.

Technologies developed through this venture could support existing healthcare products including GE’s Centricity Perioperative suite and AgileTrac™. All technologies will be built on a common framework resulting in a system that is expected to offer greater flexibility, and easier installation and configuration for different hospital settings. Hospital personnel then will be able to customize computerized dashboards so that information relevant to their job is available at their fingertips.

The $2.5M project will span two years. At the conclusion, automated systems will be tested at a yet-to-be determined VA hospital.

About GE Global Research

GE Global Research is the hub of technology development for all of GE's businesses. Our scientists and engineers redefine what’s possible, drive growth for our businesses, and find answers to some of the world’s toughest problems.

We innovate 24 hours a day, with sites in Niskayuna, New York; San Ramon, California; Bangalore, India; Shanghai, China; Munich, Germany; and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Visit GE Global Research on the web at www.ge.com/research. Connect with our technologists at http://edisonsdesk.com and http://twitter.com/edisonsdesk.

More Stories By Business Wire

Copyright © 2009 Business Wire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Business Wire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Business Wire. Business Wire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that Avere Systems, a leading provider of enterprise storage for the hybrid cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Avere delivers a more modern architectural approach to storage that doesn’t require the overprovisioning of storage capacity to achieve performance, overspending on expensive storage media for inactive data or the overbuilding of data centers ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Pythian, a global IT services company specializing in helping companies adopt disruptive technologies to optimize revenue-generating systems, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Founded in 1997, Pythian is a global IT services company that helps companies compete by adopting disruptive technologies such as cloud, Big Data, advanced analytics, and DevO...
CIOs and those charged with running IT Operations are challenged to deliver secure, audited, and reliable compute environments for the applications and data for the business. Behind the scenes these tasks are often accomplished by following onerous time-consuming processes and often the management of these environments and processes will be outsourced to multiple IT service providers. In addition, the division of work is often siloed into traditional "towers" that are not well integrated for cro...
Recognizing the need to identify and validate information security professionals’ competency in securing cloud services, the two leading membership organizations focused on cloud and information security, the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) and (ISC)^2, joined together to develop an international cloud security credential that reflects the most current and comprehensive best practices for securing and optimizing cloud computing environments.
SYS-CON Events announced today that FalconStor Software® Inc., a 15-year innovator of software-defined storage solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. FalconStor Software®, Inc. (NASDAQ: FALC) is a leading software-defined storage company offering a converged, hardware-agnostic, software-defined storage and data services platform. Its flagship solution FreeStor®, utilizes a horizonta...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Alert Logic, Inc., the leading provider of Security-as-a-Service solutions for the cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Alert Logic, Inc., provides Security-as-a-Service for on-premises, cloud, and hybrid infrastructures, delivering deep security insight and continuous protection for customers at a lower cost than traditional security solutions. Ful...
In most cases, it is convenient to have some human interaction with a web (micro-)service, no matter how small it is. A traditional approach would be to create an HTTP interface, where user requests will be dispatched and HTML/CSS pages must be served. This approach is indeed very traditional for a web site, but not really convenient for a web service, which is not intended to be good looking, 24x7 up and running and UX-optimized. Instead, talking to a web service in a chat-bot mode would be muc...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Column Technologies will exhibit at SYS-CON's @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Established in 1998, Column Technologies is a global technology solutions provider with over 400 employees, headquartered in the United States with offices in Canada, India, and the United Kingdom. Column Technologies provides “Best of Breed” technology solutions that automate the key DevOps principal...
More and more companies are looking to microservices as an architectural pattern for breaking apart applications into more manageable pieces so that agile teams can deliver new features quicker and more effectively. What this pattern has done more than anything to date is spark organizational transformations, setting the foundation for future application development. In practice, however, there are a number of considerations to make that go beyond simply “build, ship, and run,” which changes ho...
SYS-CON Events announced today that AppNeta, the leader in performance insight for business-critical web applications, will exhibit and present at SYS-CON's @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo New York, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. AppNeta is the only application performance monitoring (APM) company to provide solutions for all applications – applications you develop internally, business-critical SaaS applications you use and the networks that deli...
Fortunately, meaningful and tangible business cases for IoT are plentiful in a broad array of industries and vertical markets. These range from simple warranty cost reduction for capital intensive assets, to minimizing downtime for vital business tools, to creating feedback loops improving product design, to improving and enhancing enterprise customer experiences. All of these business cases, which will be briefly explored in this session, hinge on cost effectively extracting relevant data from ...
When building large, cloud-based applications that operate at a high scale, it’s important to maintain a high availability and resilience to failures. In order to do that, you must be tolerant of failures, even in light of failures in other areas of your application. “Fly two mistakes high” is an old adage in the radio control airplane hobby. It means, fly high enough so that if you make a mistake, you can continue flying with room to still make mistakes. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Lee...
SYS-CON Events announced today that (ISC)²® (“ISC-squared”) will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Two leading non-profits focused on cloud and information security, (ISC)² and Cloud Security Alliance (CSA), developed the Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP) certification to address the increased demand for cloud security expertise due to rapid growth in cloud. Recently named “The Next...
SYS-CON Events announced today that iDevices®, the preeminent brand in the connected home industry, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. iDevices, the preeminent brand in the connected home industry, has a growing line of HomeKit-enabled products available at the largest retailers worldwide. Through the “Designed with iDevices” co-development program and its custom-built IoT Cloud Infrastruc...
The Art of DevOps provides a fun overview to help teams understand DevOps. Written in the style of the famous 6th century Chinese manuscript “The Art of War,” this eBook describes DevOps in the form of a mission to continuously deliver assets to the operational battlegrounds safely, securely, and quickly. It’s a fun read with valuable insights.