Recent scientific breakthroughs and technological advancements have resulted in a huge number of new or updated medical devices, many of which include highly developed embedded-control functions and interactivity. In the last decade, medical beds have been significantly impacted by this increase, taking on unique forms and functions, according to a report by BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making, titled ‘Smart medical beds in patient-care environments of the 21st century: a state-of-art survey.’
The increased demand for well-equipped hospital beds with innovative features is propelling market growth with smart hospital beds becoming increasingly popular, forecasted in the ‘Hospital bed market forecast to 2028 - COVID-19 impact and global analysis by type, usage, application, and end user’ report published by the National Institute of Health.
For example, from the aspect of information technology (IT), smart hospital beds that use wireless sensor networks (WSNs) have led to a seamless and efficient solution to avoid bedsores in motion-impaired patients. Hospital beds have been transformed into highly networked appliances that use simple software (apps) and are categorised as Class 2 medical devices that seek electronic intelligence.
Smart beds are expected to benefit patients and improve health systems by delivering research information on medical and health status, statistical analysis, and data collection. This welcomes efficiency and accurate diagnostics for healthcare providers and medical professionals, while paving the way to reduce the number of hospital readmissions. Smart beds can further create a network of connected devices, mechanical and digital gear, or people with unique identifiers and the ability to send data at rapid speeds.
"Smart beds are becoming a gold standard of treatment," says Dr. Donna Macricci of New York General Hospital's intensive care unit in the report ‘Smart Beds for Hospitals with Internet of Things Solutions’, which features the most advanced hospital beds in the city. Around 10 of the 24 beds at this facility are considered ‘smart beds’ that can track anything from patient weight to pneumonia and bed ulcer prevention.
According to estimates, 6.5 per cent of Americans struggle with independent living, while 3.6 per cent struggle with self-care. Persons with such limits may face difficulties ranging from being unable to dress themselves to being unable to buy food, run errands, or visit the doctor. In these cases, smart beds provide patients with independence.