2 page Case Study
Posted: 2/17/2011
822
Rate This Evidence:

GE Healthcare GE Healthcare Empowers Professionals with Windows Embedded-based Recording Systems

Smart Design Helps Improve Workflow and Productivity

To reduce operational costs and boost the productivity of healthcare providers, hospitals need to efficiently and seamlessly connect hemodynamics and electrophysiology (EP) equipment to back-office IT systems. That kind of thinking is why GE Healthcare’s CardioLab and Mac-Lab recording systems run on the Windows Embedded Enterprise operating system, delivering a stable, robust platform, powerful developer tools and a familiar user interface.

Situation

GE Healthcare is a global leader in the development of hemodynamics and electrophysiology (EP) recording systems. Hemodynamics is the study of blood flow or the circulation, while EP is the study of the electrical properties of the heart.

GE Healthcare 1 CardioLab 2 Electrophysiology Recording System and Mac-Lab 2 Hemodynamic Recording System are used in electrophysiology and catheterization labs, respectively, by physicians, nurses, and medical technicians to acquire, display, and store physiological data and perform case documentation as they diagnose and treat cardiac conditions.

*
* The diverse connectivity features of Windows Embedded Enterprise enable critical integration with hospital infrastructures.*

Claudio Mejia
System Engineering Manager
GE Healthcare

*

“Our customers have many product requirements,” says Jasmina Brooks, Electrophysiology Marketing Manager, GE Healthcare. “They need devices that can help streamline workflow, enhance patient safety, achieve clinical excellence, and optimize financial performance.”

One of the challenges is that a diverse group of users interact with these devices. They range from interventional cardiologists and electrophysiologists with engineering backgrounds to staff less comfortable adapting to new workflows and technologies.

There are important technical requirements, as well. “The purpose of these devices is to visualize the signals inside the human heart,” explains Claudio Mejia, System Engineering Manager, GE Healthcare. “The graphical presentation of analog signals must be crisp, clear, and easy to read.”

He continues: “About 95% of these systems are installed in networked environments and integrated with hospital information systems, 3D mapping, remote nurse stations, and other systems. This requires connectivity to dozens of other devices, as well as enterprise-class IT admin tools for user management, backup, security, and more.”

Solution

Twenty years ago, CardioLab and Mac-Lab were introduced running on MS-DOS. The devices were upgraded to Microsoft Windows NT in 2001. Microsoft Windows XP and Windows Server versions were offered a few years later. Today, Windows Embedded Enterprise is the latest Windows OS option for these devices.

“CardioLab and Mac-Lab have followed the development path of Windows Embedded technology, evolving from isolated appliances into smart devices connected to the larger world,” Mejia states. “My team of software engineers is very adept at using tools and technologies like Visual Studio and SQL Server to develop applications and user experiences that improve workflow.”

*
* All data gets exchanged through the enterprise network, so it is available where users think it should be, when they think it should be there, regardless of where it’s coming from. Windows Embedded Enterprise ties it all together by providing a robust platform for connectivity.*

Claudio Mejia
System Engineering Manager
GE Healthcare

*

On the IT side, Windows Embedded Enterprise includes rich policy creation and system security technologies. For example, Active Directory Services provides the infrastructure for secure log in and centralized password management. Mejia explains: “Physicians, nurses, and technicians use their standard network logins and passwords to get into CardioLab and Mac-Lab devices. Windows Embedded Enterprise lets us leverage existing user management infrastructure.” 

For connectivity, Windows Embedded Enterprise supports multiple options, including analog serial interfaces, Fiber Optic links, USB, and Ethernet LAN. “The diverse connectivity features of Windows Embedded Enterprise enable critical integration with hospital infrastructures,” says Mejia.

Benefits

GE Healthcare and its customers gain both business and technical benefits from Windows Embedded Enterprise. Key benefits of the CardioLab and Mac-Lab systems include accuracy in collecting and recording data and the ability to interface with other systems in the lab. Both minimize free text entry, which is time-consuming and a common source of errors.

“Visual Studio simplified the task of building applications with rich user interfaces and data connectivity to manage clinical information, such as procedures, complications, medications, and inventory,” says Mejia. He further explains: “Nurses documenting cases simply select items from pick lists or scan them using barcode devices. Forms and macros are easily customized. The accuracy they gain by using forms with pick lists instead of free formatting tightens up the data collection, so users can feel confident about the data when they report it. A consistent methodology of data capture and collection across procedures is also accomplished which is important to healthcare providers.”

Also, physician confidence is enhanced by graphical technologies. “In hemodynamic and electrophysiology, graphics presentation of signal data with high fidelity is everything,” explains Mejia. “You can have sophisticated hardware with low noise, but if you display information crudely, doctors will lose trust in your product. Graphic display technologies in Windows Embedded Enterprise allowed us to develop display algorithms that produce clean, crisp wave forms and provide the signal quality that physicians expect.”

Windows Embedded also improves the user experience for staff who need to collect information, take inventories, and log procedures. “The familiar Windows UI reminds them of using their own computer at home,” comments Mejia.

CardioLab electrophysiology recording system
    CardioLab electrophysiology recording system

Finally, integration with back-office hospital systems is eased by interoperability with Windows technologies like Windows Server and Active Directory. Information exchange is bidirectional: the CardioLab and Mac-Lab devices receive patient demographics, scheduling, and prior procedure information, while sending information for post processing, database entry, billing, results calculations, and inventory control.

Mejia concludes: “All data gets exchanged through the enterprise network, so it is available where users think it should be, when they think it should be there, regardless of where it’s coming from. Windows Embedded Enterprise ties it all together by providing a robust platform for connectivity.”

1 GE is a trademark of General Electric Company
2 CardioLab and Mac-Lab are trademarks of GE Healthcare companies

Keyword: Medical Devices: Medical Devices

This case study is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY.
Solution Overview



Organization Size: 50000 employees

Organization Profile

GE Healthcare is a $17 billion unit of General Electric Company. GE Healthcare’s more than 46,000 employees serve healthcare professionals and their patients in more than 100 countries.


Hardware

  • HP DL370 G6
  • HP Z600


Software and Services
  • Windows Embedded Enterprise
  • Microsoft SQL Server
  • Microsoft Windows XP
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003
  • Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Standard Edition

Vertical Industries
Life Sciences, Chemicals; Oil & Gas, Mining

Country/Region
United Kingdom

Languages
English

RSS