​S. Korean hospital develops location information-based solution to track patient movement

Park Sae-jin Reporter() | Posted : April 21, 2020, 11:00 | Updated : April 21, 2020, 11:00

[Yonhap Photo]

SEOUL -- A university hospital has adopted a location information-based infection tracking and management solution in an effort to effectively prevent nosocomial infection, cross-contamination of infectious diseases inside hospital premises, and accurately analyze the infection route in case of an internal disease outbreak.

Yongin Severance Hospital operated by Yonsei University in Yongin some 35 kilometers south of Seoul said in a statement that it has developed an infectious management solution using a Bluetooth-connected smart band to track patients moving around its premises in real time. The hospital said that it would further upgrade its solution to use it for analyzing routes of COVID-19 patients.

Since the novel coronavirus epidemic hit South Korea in late February, hundreds of virus carriers have been quarantined as nosocomial infections in major cities including Seoul, Daegu, the epicenter of the virus outbreak, and the southern port city of Busan.

Currently, when an infectious disease outbreak takes place inside a hospital, medical staff carry out epidemiological investigations based on CCTV footage and verbal reports from patients. Because such an investigation cannot track infectious sources in real time, it takes time to respond.

"The newly developed infection tracking and management solution is expected to minimize the spread of infectious diseases as it can visually present and explain whether patients and medical staff have contacted each other in case of an infectious disease outbreak," Kim Sung-won, a doctor at the hospital's digital medical center, said.

To track smart bands worn by patients, the hospital has set up a seamless wireless network and infrastructure for real-time location systems. The hospital has simulated its new solution by successfully tracking a patient infected with scabies, a skin infection carried by a mite, wearing a smart band and those who came in contact with the tracked patient.

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