How IoT Tracks Surgical Sponges and Improves Patient Safety

Sreeni Venugopal of KIMSHEALTH on Using IoT for Invasive Procedures
Sreeni Venugopal, group CIO and CISO, KIMSHEALTH

The inadvertent presence of surgical sponges inside a patient's body post surgery poses a substantial risk. Global statistics reveal that it occurs in approximately 1 out of 6,000 surgeries. Recognizing the need for improved patient safety, KIMSHEALTH, a prominent group of hospitals based in the Middle East, has leveraged IoT technology to address this issue.

By implementing tracking technology on surgical sponges, KIMSHEALTH aims to eliminate human errors and enhance patient well-being. The group successfully deployed this solution at one of its hospitals in India, digitally transforming and automating the identification and monitoring process of surgical sponges. This initiative earned KIMSHEALTH the prestigious award from CHIME Central for its outstanding contribution to healthcare innovation.

Sreeni Venugopal, group CIO and CISO at KIMSHEALTH, highlighted the capabilities of the solution. "The solution enables end-to-end tracking of every sponge from procurement to exiting the operating theatre (OT), ensuring no sponge is left unaccounted for. In addition to enhancing patient safety, it enables surgeons to expedite the surgical closure process by eliminating the need for manual counts and recounts," Venugopal said.

Utilizing a software-as-a-service (SaaS) model, the solution can now be easily extended to multiple OTs across several hospitals and smaller centers. Venugopal is actively working on expanding the solution to include tracking of other surgical equipment such as forceps and scissors, aiming to further enhance operational efficiency and patient safety.

In this interview with Information Security Media Group, Venugopal discussed:

  • IoT-based solution for surgical sponge tracking;
  • IoT use cases around patient safety;
  • Addressing challenges in securing IoT devices in healthcare.

Venugopal has nearly 30 years of experience in IT, security and privacy domains across BFSI, healthcare, government, automotive, manufacturing, oil and gas, and telecom sectors globally. Prior to KIMSHEALTH, he was global head - CIO Office SVMO at Nissan Digital India and global director and GM for Volvo Group.

About the Author

Shipra Malhotra

Shipra Malhotra

Managing Editor, ISMG

Malhotra has more than two decades of experience in technology journalism and public relations. She writes about enterprise technology and security-related issues and has worked at, Dataquest and The Indian Express.

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