healthcaretechoutlook

Nihon Kohden: Making 'Predictable' Health a Reality

 Wilson Constantine, CEO & President Emergency situations that involve patients with degenerating health conditions can test hospitals and health systems’ abilities to provide high levels of care. While clinical teams struggle to transport these patients to emergency rooms (ERs) with adequate medical equipment, patient care during transport may be impacted due to lack of access to real-time patient information. “Hospitals and care teams today strive to have predictive management capabilities when dealing with emergency situations,” says Wilson Constantine, CEO of Nihon Kohden America. With scalable medical devices tailored to capture patient data across the care continuum, Nihon Kohden is helping healthcare institutions build greater visibility into real-time patient conditions to deliver high-quality care.

Nihon Kohden’s powerful data acquisition platforms ensure continuous tracking and recording of patient data to support accurate decision making during the delivery of care. The company breaks down traditionally siloed data in patient monitoring, neurology and cardiology systems to help care teams access actionable insights into patient health. “We integrate the breath, the beat, and the thought to provide coordinated information, facilitating predictive decision support,” says Constantine. From its beginning as an EEG unit manufacturer, Nihon Kohden is growing into a medical informatics behemoth by carefully understanding the needs of its clients.

Right Place, Right Care, Right Time

Referring to the recent survey of hospitals’ C-suites by an L.E.K Survey, Constantine reflects on the commonalities that exist among today’s healthcare providers. “Be it local progressive, progressive consolidators, health aggregators, or local traditionalists, all of them strive to have consistent and immediate access to critical patient data so that the patient can receive the right care, at the right place, and at the right time. Often, the idea behind choosing the right place is based on where the technology is located. We break this paradigm to declare ‘the right place is wherever the patient is’—be it the ER, home, hospital ward, or even an ambulance equipped with the devices that monitor EEG and vital signs.” With access to real-time patient data, care teams are in a better position to make the right clinical decisions to stabilize the patients wherever they are, which helps with critical patient interventions and improves care teams’ workflow and patient experience. Care teams can make quicker decisions, such as whether to take the patient to the ER, transport them to a step-down facility or a neurologist, depending on his or her condition.

For example, a large IDN in Pennsylvania was facing challenges around managing patients in a variety of care areas, causing strain in their coordination. Existing uncoordinated data silos were threatening the lives of acute patients transported by ambulance.

“We synchronized the patient vital sign information with EEG and sleep apnea,” says Constantine. The IDN could then divert the patients for appropriate care in cases where they had risk factors associated with epilepsy or traumatic brain injuries. Through Nihon Kohden’s data acquisition platforms, the IDN provided its staff visibility into individual patient health conditions, allowing them to make informed decisions.

Nihon Kohden takes a consultative approach to deliver quality services through an in-house nurse executive team which has undergone stringent certification, NAHQ—assisting hospitals in enhancing care quality by improving workflow


The teams can now accurately and confidently decide whether to take a patient to the hospital ER or divert the ambulance toward one of their affiliated specialized practitioners.

Adding more value to Nihon Kohden’s diverse product portfolio is its ability to deliver predictive healthcare management by integrating vital signs monitoring and EEG as well as tackling challenges such as SUDEP, sleep apnea, or other critical multi-parameter indicators of health status. “Our monitoring solutions can accurately identify whether a patient will have acute health conditions and help care teams and nurses customize care management to avoid unnecessary health crises,” says Constantine.

As an added advantage, Nihon Kohden’s technology solutions drive operational efficiency of hospitals by increasing patient turnover rates achieved through getting patients to the right care area based on their risk levels using insights derived from multi-parameter data analytics.

Nihon Kohden takes a consultative approach to delivering quality services through which clients achieve quick ROI. The company’s in-house nurse executive team has undergone stringent certifications, including NAHQ (National Association for Healthcare Quality).The nurse executive team evaluates hospital workflows and recommends improvements to enhance the quality of care. “The nurse executive teams help hospitals drive patient satisfaction while improving reimbursement and reducing the costs of care—an aspect that our clients love about us,” notes C onstantine. Along with alarm management and pre-imposed SUDEP analysis, Nihon Kohden’s technology solutions increase patient turnover rates by allocating patients based on their risk levels with data-driven insights. Improved patient flow drives operational efficiency.

Nihon Kohden’s offerings also help prevent health crises in patients with seemingly minor health concerns. For example, people undergoing even a routine colonoscopy, or treatment for minor accidents, can be susceptible to respiratory depression due to procedural sedation. In these cases, Nihon Kohden’s capnography technology ensures continuous measurement of CO2 exhalation for early indications of concern, so if needed, the care team can respond to keep the patient safe.

Enhanced Visibility into Patient Data

Nihon Kohden builds technology based on integration first, helping care teams and nurses glean healthcare insights. “Our BSM-1700 Transport Monitor, for instance, measures and synchronizes patient data wirelessly across the hospital network and the patient’s EMR,” informs Constantine. While traditional monitoring systems can only track real-time health conditions, the Transport Monitor stores historical patient data even when the patient is in transit and then synchronizes this data to the EMR once the device is connected to the bedside monitor.
Using the ‘Recall’ option, care teams can then verify how the transport affected the patient’s vitals.“We bridge the data silos in patient monitoring, which can otherwise prove to be fatal.” The company has also released Aware, a software program and reporting tools that provide meaningful, actionable patient-centric data to identify which alarms are most critical to focus on and to better manage individual patients. Taking its data acquisition prowess further, Nihon Kohden has invested significantly in developing advanced telemetry devices. The telemetry set consists of an accelerometer that can track patients if they have fallen or wandered—a situation with Alzheimer’s patients—and if the patient goes completely out of range, the local monitor alerts the care teams. GZ140, slated for release soon, is a wearable monitoring solution for blood pressure, respiration, CO2, and ECG. These devices empower patients in post- acute conditions to go home “with confidence,” as health incidents are proactively analyzed, and care teams are automatically alerted while updating the data to the EMR.

To address HIPAA and security concerns, Nihon Kohden is in the process of putting its products through thorough testing by a third-party security firm. The company is also in the process of applying for Risk Management Framework (RMF) certification from the U.S. Department of Defense. “Due to the critical nature of data that is transmitted on our network, we have designed the network to be independent of the hospital, and all data is transmitted using a proprietary protocol,” says Constantine.

Driving Care Quality through People Development

Having patients and care teams as part of its mission, vision, and value, Nihon Kohden aims at relentless innovation by adopting a culture that revolves around continuous learning. The company will soon be launching Nihon Kohden University, a global education and training platform designed to help healthcare professionals build and sustain key technology expertise, optimize clinical practice and ultimately ensure quality patient care.

"The nurse executive teams help hospitals to drive patient satisfaction while improving their reimbursement—an aspect that our clients love about us"

Built to meet the unique needs of time-constrained healthcare practitioners and provider organizations, Nihon Kohden University offers anytime, anywhere access to a range of accredited instructor-led and virtual clinical courses; product- specific courses, with sophisticated online simulations for navigating equipment prior to implementation; immersive training modalities specifically designed for adult learners, including virtual reality apps simulating everyday clinical practice; a full library of literature, including clinical resource guides, clinical references, and self-study packets; and an array of offline, onsite training courses and consulting services that can be customized for each organization.

“Our aim is to provide our clients the tools necessary for them to gain actionable information in the context of their hospital and the population,” said Constantine.

Having adopted a learning-based culture, Nihon Kohden is focused on building new solutions for healthcare informationmanagement to achieve favorable health outcomes. According to Constantine, healthcare management is not an end goal but a continuous journey. “Our products have been acclaimed as highly reliable and customers are extremely satisfied, but we won’t stop there. We are continuously striving to improve patient care with advanced integrated systems. We will continue to work as allies with all the entities in our ecosystem, spanning healthcare CEOs, CTOs, nurses, and care teams, as we focus on integrating and expanding information systems to improve patient outcomes while helping to improve the healthcare of their served population.”