Why it matters: Medical professionals are at the greatest risk of contracting infectious diseases, especially during a pandemic. Google's partnership with Mount Sinai Hospital will allow nurses to limit physical contact with patients while still being able to monitor vitals and respond to patient needs.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, medical professionals have had to ensure proper protection to avoid contracting the disease. However, this means using personal protective equipment (PPE) that may be in limited supply. Google has partnered with Mount Sinai Hospital to deploy Nest Cams which allow nurses to monitor and respond to patients without having to be physically present.
This approach involves installing two Nest Cams per room, one for monitoring vitals and another for communicating with patients. There are special consoles at the nurse stations to allow them to interact with the cameras.
According to Google's official blog post, Google will supply around 10,000 Nest Cams to the hospital. Google will not store any of the footage nor have access to it at all. The system was created to allow monitoring while still adhering to HIPAA and other regulatory requirements.
As hospitals continue to treat Covid-19 patients, it's great to see tech companies assisting in limiting direct exposure for nurses and doctors. According to the CDC, over 9,000 health care professionals have been infected with the virus.
Lessening the need to interact directly with infectious patients not only limits exposure, but also preserves PPE for when it's needed most.