Recent scientific breakthroughs and technological advancements have resulted new or updated medical devices with highly developed embedded control features and interactivity. Medical beds have notably affected by this increase since the latter decade of the twentieth century, taking on new forms and functions while adapting established qualities that have become well-known for this equipment. Changes in conceptual frameworks, such as product design and production processes (standards), patient care, have occurred over the last fifteen years (perspectives on patient-care environments and accessibility). This paper presents a state-of-the-art survey on electric medical beds, the "smart bed" era as part of a more integrated patient-care environment.
The final stage of the anticipated schedule for these devices, the new generation of electric medical beds, has been outlined. The current global market for medical beds and related standards are also analyzed, as are functional, aesthetic, and interactive aspects. Finally, the possibility of incorporating more monitoring and assisting implementations into medical equipment and settings is discussed, the developing obstacles and opportunities for these systems.
Electric medical beds have nearly a century of history behind them. The medical bed is an important aspect of the hospital environment, and it is also used to gauge its reach, efficiency (for occupancy and bed-management strategy), development (for funding and investment in healthcare systems, see), and diversity. In the case of automated, electric devices like these, technological and contextual considerations have resulted in considerable modifications to their look and intended operation over time, while keeping the fundamental attributes that drove the medical device's earliest proponents.
Previous research has documented the evolution of medical beds from the first push-button models to the year 2000, splitting the period into two stages: electric beds (the 1940s to 1980s) and mechatronicFootnote1 beds (1990s). Highlights from this sixty-year diachronic study included:
a) Since the 1960s, these gadgets have hospitals to institutional and residential settings.
b) The creation of specific regulatory frameworks
c) Increased development and sale of specialized accessories
d) The early stages of incorporating new technologies into devices (second stage)
In recent decades, the medical-bed market has evolved further, in response to shifting structural, functional, and social-economic needs for medical bed performance. The mechatronic bed segment, or smart beds, has become the norm since 2000, as a result of the synthesis of new materials, improved design, and increased functionality and autonomy for these systems, all while operating using advanced user interfaces. Smart beds use new technologies (graphical interfaces, novel environment-aware sensors and actuating solutions, and so on) to provide a higher level of service and function, such as real-time monitoring, caregiver and patient assistance, automated functions, and positions (chair, assisted bed exit), data logging, and advanced communication.
This paper summarises the results of a survey of medical beds in healthcare contexts conducted between 2000 and 2016, which led to an analysis of their current product and research state-of-the-art, their development potential and market prospects. Focused on the final stage of the product timeline, it proposes a broad study of the many factors affecting medical beds over this shorter time frame, based on a more in-depth examination of current technologies, challenges, and perspectives that will shape the healthcare environment and delivery methods shortly.
A total of 85 medical bed distributors and manufacturers from the United States, Europe, and Asia were identified and analyzed. A wide range of beds (bariatric, elderly, long-term) has been discovered, including home-care, institutional-care, emergency, surgical, and therapeutic beds. Emergency, mental, obstetric, and surgical beds were not evaluated due to the study's inclusion requirements. There were nine companies discovered to be distributors for other brands. Two manufacturers were eliminated due to a lack of information on the specifics of the manufactured beds, leaving a total of 74 medical bed manufacturers.
The features listed in the table (e.g., bed-exit alarms, obstacle detection, advanced motion options, therapy routines, patient and bed history logging, integrated scale, head-of-bed angle monitoring and measurements, patient-blocking, local and remote information on patient conditions, integrated accessory-controls) are all useful in their own right, have the greatest impact when they are all controlled through a single patient-care interface. The majority of these characteristics are common to all models, not just a few, and reflect the heightened expectations that their users have formed.
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