The Past, Present & Future of Medical Technology
February 6, 2020
A Conversation between Tim O'Malley and Elaine Bridge, DNP, RN
How is medical technology like contact-free patient monitoring changing the way that hospitals approach patient care and staff management, and how are those trends likely to continue evolving in the years to come?
That was the topic of a recent conversation between Elaine Bridge — a seasoned clinician and nurse leader, among other achievements, who is currently the Vice President, Digital Health Strategic Operations of Partners Healthcare — and Tim O’Malley, President and Chief Growth Officer at EarlySense, Inc.
In this exclusive medical technology podcast, Elaine and Tim discuss the trials, tribulations, achievements and future possibilities of med tech in the hospital setting, including:
- How results-driven medical tech can help improve outcomes while helping leaders identify the right levels of staffing and create a better working environment for nurses and clinical staff
- How contact-free continuous monitoring (CFCM) helps staff more efficiently monitor patient vital signs in a way that diminishes the risk of infection
- Why EarlySense's groundbreaking CFCM technology has been a centerpiece of patient care at Newton-Wellesley Hospital for seven years and counting
- The challenges facing leaders and administrators seeking to implement new medical technology, including managing change, acquiring financial justification and overcoming staff resistance
- How CFCM fits into anticipated shifts towards AI, robotics and predictive analytics
- How medical technology is helping shift patient behaviors towards better engagement and healthier life choices
They also discuss how Elaine’s work has helped promote wider acceptance of contact-free patient monitoring and its potential to help alleviate industry concerns in an environment where those challenges grow more pressing each year.
“Any time you can demonstrate quickly the value added of technology or some other change … you’ll get faster adoption and far less resistance,” Elaine tells Tim. In the case of EarlySense, “where we had some pretty good early wins,” she adds, “that made it a lot easier for people to normalize it.”
Tim O’Malley has spent almost four decades in the field of medical technology. Having started his career at Siemens Medical Systems, he’s also led medical tech businesses revolving around mechanical ventilation, patient monitoring, sensor-based blood pressure measurement systems and other technologies. Driven by the possibilities that arise from the convergence of medical tech and patient care, Tim has built a career on building and leading teams that help people “utilize and leverage technology in an effort to improve patient care, patient outcomes and staff efficiency.”
About Elaine Bridge, DNP, RN
Elaine Bridge is a registered nurse by training, who, after several years spent delivering bedside care to patients in critical care, ICU and emergency departments, transitioned into a focus on leadership. Among other high-profile roles, she has served as Chief Nursing Officer, Chief Operating Officer and Vice President of Clinical Operations at Newton-Wellesley Hospital, a Boston-area community teaching hospital, where she helped oversee improvements in the patient experience via digital health.
Elaine and Tim have worked together on the implementation of EarlySense CFCM technology at Newton-Wellesley, a successful collaboration that’s approaching a decade-long milestone. Elaine credits that implementation to the facility’s success in improving outcomes and staff efficiency.
“I’ve always been a firm believer that if you create the right environment for your staff … you get a better outcome from your patients,” she explains. “In our environment, we’re very much driven by the data and by the evidence, and [with EarlySense] we had real-time evidence in our own building that showed that our patient outcomes improved when we used the device.”