Small helper allows flexibility
A new generation of intelligent dialysis systems can simplify treatments for medical and nursing staff. Above all, the NEXADIA mobile companion, which makes patient data available for mobile devices, is designed to make patient care easier.
Lecturer Radovan Vasko, MD, is sitting in the large conference room on the second floor when his phone rings. He gently murmurs “just a moment, please,” pulls the phone from his right coat pocket, and answers the nurse’s call. All this happens in a single, routine movement—so quickly, that the short melody of the ring tone has already fallen silent before it finished. Almost as quickly, Dr. Vasko pulls the white tablet out of his right coat pocket to take a look at the NEXADIA mobile companion. Earlier in the morning, a dialysis patient’s blood pressure was elevated. So, Dr. Vasko sent a message to the nurse in charge to please measure the patient’s blood pressure again in twenty minutes and once his message is highlighted in green, he can directly see that it has been read and confirmed by the nurse.
Dr. Vasko is the senior physician at the B. Braun via medis Renal Care Center in Bad Kissingen. The center just opened in 2020 and offers dialysis besides being an outpatient clinic for the early detection, diagnosis, and treatment of kidney diseases. In addition, since November 2021, it has been the first center in Germany to use the NEXADIA mobile companion: a web-based application that enables dialysis patients’ health data to be accessed from the health care staff after logging in on mobile devices. “As an attending physician, the mobile companion allows me to be more actively involved in ongoing therapy,” says Dr. Vasko.
However, the processes have not only improved for him as the treating physician, but also for the entire team. “Communication can work better. Because I'm more actively involved now, the younger nurses in particular can learn more quickly and can gain an understanding of which parameters are most relevant to the therapy,” says Dr. Vasko. In addition, the mobile companion makes it possible to work largely paperless, which can especially reduce the administrative workload of nursing staff. Nowhere is this more evident than in the photo documentation of the fistula, which is literally the patient’s lifeline. A continuous photo documentation of the fistula allows a visualized recording of the fistula’s condition. But in most Renal Care Centers, this requires nurses to handle a digital camera, match the appropriate photo and manually transfer it to a patient data management system. In most cases, an administrative burden so labor-intensive that nurses rarely have time for it. With the NEXADIA mobile companion, documentation can take place in a matter of seconds. The application can be used to access the camera of the mobile device and store the photo of the fistula directly in the electronic patient record in the NEXADIA Expert.
“Of all the features, it's the simplified documentation that excites many of our customers the most,” says Benjamin Olson, B. Braun’s Marketing Manager responsible for the development and launch of the NEXADIA mobile companion. Christine Poullaquec, who works as a nurse at the Centre de Néphrologie et de Dialyse d'Armorique in Brest, France, confirms this. “For me, the design and availability of the data had a real wow effect,” Poullaquec says. “Even in our case, the fistula was rarely photo-documented before, because the transfer to the NEXADIA Expert was complex.” In addition to improved photo documentation for fistula surveillance, the mobile companion can also help nurses and physicians to consult with patients during treatment. Previously, protocols were printed out to do this, and filled out in a time-consuming manner. With the mobile companion, this data can now be conveniently accessed on the mobile device. “This has made it much easier for us to spend time with patients,” Poullaquec says. An impression that Dr. Vasko confirms.
The mobile companion not only collects all data from the currently running therapy, but also allows access to past sessions—a wealth of data that is also automatically processed and visualized. “This allows for much more interactive patient engagement,” Dr. Vasko says. If, for example, there are fluctuations in blood values or weight, the patient can be shown on the mobile device where the problem is, with the help of dynamic trend diagrams. “The clear presentation can make our consultation more convincing,” says Dr. Vasko.
“Some nurses who have been using pen and paper for thirty or forty years were a little skeptical at first,” Dr. Vasko says. Their concern was accidentally changing important settings with the mobile device during dialysis treatment. “But we were able to reassure them, because that’s not even possible with the mobile companion,” says Dr. Vasko. And Benjamin Olson adds, “Because we’re in the business of sensitive health data, we’ve taken great care to ensure security in the development of the mobile companion.” In the current version, the mobile companion is a “read only application”. This means that it isn’t able to make its own entries in the database and can only retrieve the data stored in the NEXADIA Expert. Protecting patient data is also a top priority. To help prevent any kind of unauthorized access to patient data, you can only log in to the mobile companion using authenticated devices. In addition, a NEXADIA administrator controls whether and to what extent access rights exist. Finally, the license level controls who and how many employees can log in to the mobile companion.
So far, the mobile companion is already in use in France, Austria and Germany, with launches also underway in Spain, Sweden, and Malaysia. Singapore and the USA will follow soon. Plans for expanding the functions are also already underway: visualization of the data streams from the dialysate concentrate mixing device ECOMix Revolution and water treatment system AQUAboss or AQUAbase nX will be available in the mobile companion before the end of this year. The expansion of write functions is also in the concrete planning stage, taking regulatory requirements into account.
The medium-term goal: to create an innovative, browser-based technology platform that enables customers around the world to cost-effectively and agilely optimize processes in their dialysis centers. “With our digital solutions, we want to support dialysis centers so they can take care of what really matters at the end of the day,” says Benjamin Olson. “Namely, providing improved care for their patients.”