by November 5, 2002 0 comments



Computers are being used to enhance the functionality of all types of medical equipment. This is being done either during the manufacturing process itself, or later on as an add-on. Two cases in point are two companies called Maestros and MIST (Medical Information and Software Technologies). While the former is into manufacturing of equipment for cardiology, gynecology and imaging, the latter is into developing IT solutions for the medical world. 

The ScopyDoc solution consists of a digital camera hooked to a microscope that can be used for endoscopy applications like this one

Maestros’ offerings
Maestros has a division called Mediline Equipment and Computer Systems for making medical equipment. At the heart of most of this medical equipment are EPROM chips containing the controlling software, which has been developed using C++. One example is a device called CardioVigil, which is used to monitor three medical parameters, namely ECG, Oxygen content in blood (SPO2), and non-invasive BP measurements (NIBP). The number of measurable parameters can go up to five by simply upgrading the EPROM chip. This device also has an RS232 interface for connecting it to a PC, and there’s a Windows-based software for controlling it. 

If one CardioVigil device is kept next to each patient’s bed in a hospital ICU, monitoring all of them can be difficult. That’s why there’s a feature that allows many such devices to hook on to a single PC. What’s used is a hardware interface box containing multiple RS232 ports for connecting these devices on one side, and a single PC interface on another. This way, all the patients can be monitored from a single remote location outside the ICU. The monitoring software displays information for all the devices simultaneously, and alarms can be set if these values surpass their set thresholds. Not only that, but the software can also record problem cases, for example, high BP or a problem withthe
ECG. 

Another equipment called Stressline is a computerized stress-testing system. This has 12 leads to monitor the ECG and display graphs simultaneously on the PC monitor. The software also allows report printing. Most of the equipment manufactured by Maestros is targeted towards small clinics, nursing homes and hospitals. The company also has hospital-management software that can provide process automation and integration with these devices. 

MIST
Most radiology equipment such as ultrasound machines need to print scans on film. This can be time consuming and expensive, and heaven help if something goes wrong during the scanning or printing, as the process would have to be repeated. These scans would be much faster if they can be transferred to a PC and then printed using a simple color inkjet printer on special coated paper. That’s part of the solution being offered by MIST, a small Pune-based company, started by two doctors about three years ago. The company has five product offerings today, which can be used in various applications, including ultrasound, endoscopy, pathology and digital radiography. 

Their first product, SonoDoc is meant for capturing, managing and reporting scans from an ultrasound machine. The solution consists of a video-grabber card that connects to the video out signal from an ultrasound machine and a PC-based software for capturing the images. The software has been developed using VB with MS Access as the database. The software can record patient and doctor info. Images can be captured, stored and printed in various formats up to 12 per page. There are two versions of the software: basic and advanced. The advanced one can also directly burn the scan report on to a CD. It also has color filters, facility to store patient history and other investigations. 

Other offerings from the company include ScopyDoc for endoscopy, PathoDoc for telepathology, CT-MRI Doc and
DicomDoc. 

Contacts: Maestros. Tel: 022-7611286. E-mail: kkumar@mediline.co.in
MIST. Tel: 020-4321606. E-mail: mistindia@vsnl.com

Anil Chopra

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