The dwindling birth rate combined with an aging population mean that issues such as increasing medical costs, a shortage of medical and nursing care staff, and regional disparities in the level of medical care available are becoming more and more serious. There will be an even greater need for high quality medical care that does not waste precious resources. In response to this challenge, Ricoh is developing various initiatives utilizing ICT to provide support the healthcare sector.
One such initiative is our indoor location information service that can tell where patients, doctors, nurses and even medical equipment are located within a hospital. It can track in real time the movement of people and objects, such as patients, medical staff and medical equipment, even in indoor and underground locations that GPS signals cannot reach. This has made it possible to boost operational efficiency in hospitals and prevent medical errors, for example by making hospital rounds and calls more efficient, keeping tabs on medical equipment, and speeding up the response when a patient calls for a nurse which ultimately leads to improved patient care.
The system not only provides positional information instantaneously, it is also an aid in reviewing how the hospital is manned and equipment is utilized. Since it links positional data about people and objects with the computerized medical records system, and analyzes stored positional data (such as heatmaps, lines of flow and length of time spent somewhere) which is combined with other ancillary data.
The Ricoh indoor location information service gives a visible form to such data and supports workstyle reforms on the medical frontlines.