Staying in a hospital can be a lonely experience, especially when patients only have a TV set or the occasional visitor for company – but one company has set out to change all that, using the power of its technology.
Based in Mississauga, Ont., i3 Solutions Inc. has built a terminal that’s something like a TV. However, by partnering with Telus Health, the company’s Panacea Patient Bedside Engagement Solution also provides a radio, games, social media access, and the ability to video conference with friends and family, keeping patients from becoming isolated. Panacea also allows doctors and nurses to pull up patients’ medical data on-screen, making it a valuable tool for healthcare as well as entertainment.
i3 Solutions’ technology has benefited patients and doctors alike – and during Wednesday’s annual Channel Elite Awards, Computer Dealer News (CDN) recognized the company’s work by awarding it with the Channel Solution Provider of the Year award, giving it the top honour above more than 30 other finalists across Canada.
What gave i3 Solutions an edge was its willingness to help hospitals with not just entertaining patients, but also with managing the technology in providing healthcare, said Lori Bonari, i3 Solutions’ business development manager for new growth opportunities.
“It’s very much about empowering patients to have their own healthcare at their fingertips. And the most important point in a hospital, really, is the point of care, which is the patient bedside,” she said, adding Panacea also helps doctors explain what patients need to do once they leave the hospital.
“[Physicians] spend more time with patients when they’re able to just pull up medical results right at the bedside, instead of having to put up, you know, an old-fashioned X-ray in a hospital hallway somewhere … It’s so much larger and greater than bedside entertainment.”
Peter Christopoulos, i3 Solutions’ president and director, agreed. In an emailed statement, he said it was “humbling and exciting” to be recognized as CDN’s Solution Provider of the Year.
“Because the CDN Awards place such a significant emphasis on demonstrated value, through cost savings, productivity improvements and customer satisfaction, we turned to our customers, the hospitals themselves, to describe how Panacea has helped them. They responded enthusiastically,” he said. “We worked closely with the staff at several major hospitals to develop a solution that was designed specifically for healthcare providers and their patients, and so it is gratifying have our efforts rewarded.”
i3 Solutions has installed more than 500 terminals in hospitals in Ontario, Manitoba, British Columbia, and the U.S. The company expects to have more than 1,000 terminals up and running within 2015.
Going forward, the company is looking at expanding into community hospitals in remote areas. One potential customer is looking at using Panacea to reach the nearest oncologist, who is more than eight hours away, Bonari said. i3 Solution is also thinking about what it can do in the mobile space – for example, it may someday give patients portable devices for transferring their medical data to physicians.
Still, the biggest reason for the company’s Solution Provider of the Year award is that it solves a big problem within the healthcare space – and that’s managing a hospital’s complicated IT systems, Bonari said.
“We do everything. We manage a hospital’s IT solutions, we provide them with more than just a TV,” she said. “We take them from the first conception of an idea, to the deployment of the idea, to managing it … I hate to use the words ‘cradle to grave,’ but that’s what we do.”