Dr Roisin Molloy
CEO and Co-Founder, TriMedika
Non-contact digital thermometers are better for patients because they are less disruptive and remove the risk of infection. They are also more efficient, economic and sustainable.
Digital transformation is bringing exciting innovation into Ireland’s hospitals, which is benefitting patients and clinicians alike. Take digital thermometry for example, a technology which one medical device company has set out to improve.
“In older digital contact thermometers a disposable plastic cover has to be placed over the probe every time a temperature reading is taken,” explains Dr Roisin Molloy, CEO and Co-Founder of medical technology manufacturer, TriMedika.
Reducing risk of infection
“As the thermometer makes contact, a cover is necessary to protect the patient against infection; but apart from increasing plastic usage, it’s also expensive, because each cover costs four cents,” she says. When you think about how many times patients have their temperatures taken, you can see how this mounts up, both economically and environmentally.
However, the latest thermometers are non-contact and use infrared technology. To take the temperature, you simply point at a patient’s forehead and click. “Because it doesn’t touch the patient it’s less invasive and disruptive for them,” says Molloy. “They can have their temperature taken while they are asleep, for example. As 80% of hospital infections are passed through contact, it removes that risk. Plus, it’s time saving for clinicians and more sustainable because no plastic consumables are needed.”
The HSE is very open-minded and supportive of new companies developing new technology.
Implementing new technology
Molloy’s company has been working in partnership with HSE’s Digital Health Living Labs initiative to accelerate the creation and adoption of their own non-contact thermometers in more hospitals. This fits in with Ireland’s Digital Health Strategy and Action Plan, Stay Left, Shift Left, which aims to utilise the power of digital applications so that more patients can be treated at home with improved levels of care.
“The HSE is very open-minded and supportive of new companies developing new technology,” says Molloy. “Improving the patient experience — while helping clinicians — is at the centre of this.”
TriMedika is also developing a Bluetooth digital thermometer which sends patients’ temperature readings directly to their medical records, making it easier for clinicians to monitor patients in remote settings.