2022 JUN 01 (NewsRx) — By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Insurance Daily News — According to news reporting originating from Alexandria, Virginia, by NewsRx journalists, a patent by the inventors Sturgess, David (Chesterfield, GB), Waterson, Vincent (Ventura, CA, US), filed on July 25, 2019, was published online on May 10, 2022.
The assignee for this patent, patent number 11328802, is Videokall Inc. (Bethesda, Maryland, United States).
Reporters obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors:
“Various embodiments of the invention relate generally to medical health care technology, and more particularly, to providing remote tele-health services.
“Conventional medical services and care are experiencing increased demand as a result of the increasing age of the population. Additionally, medical care is becoming increasingly more expensive and unavailable for a large portion of the population.
“Prior Art includes U.S. Patent Application No. 2010/0222649. An engagement is brokered between a consumer and a medical service provider; a request from a user to consult with a medical service provider having a service provider profile that satisfies at least some attributes in a set of attributes that define a suitable service provider is received in a server computer system; an available medical service provider satisfying at least some of the attributes in the set of attributes is identified; a communication channel is provided to establish an electronic, real-time communication between the user and the medical service provider; a measurement from a sensor configured to measure a physiological parameter of the user is received over the communication channel. This method requires the consumer to own vital signs monitoring devices and be proficient in their use and to also have access to a broadband internet system and own a computer with interfaces which will support connection of these devices.
“Prior Art includes U.S. Pat. No. 5,441,047. An ambulatory (in the home) user health monitoring system is disclosed wherein the user is monitored by a health care worker at a central station, while the user is at a remote location. The user may be a person having a specific medical condition monitored or may be an elderly person desiring general medical surveillance in the home environment. Cameras are provided at the user’s remote location and at the central station such that the user and the health care worker are in interactive visual and audio communication. A communications network such as an interactive cable television is used for this purpose. Various medical condition sensing and monitoring equipment are placed in the user’s home, depending on the particular medical needs of the user. The user’s medical condition is measured or sensed in the home and the resulting data is transmitted to the central station for analysis and display. The health care worker then is placed into interactive visual communication with the user concerning the user’s general wellbeing, as well as the user’s medical condition. Thus, the health care worker can make “home visits” electronically, twenty-four hours a day.
“Prior Art includes U.S. Pat. No. 7,778,852. A remotely programmable and accessible medical device system including an interface unit and a medical device connected to a user is disclosed. Through a transceiver, such as a telephone or computer, a person may obtain status reports from a remotely located medical device in audible, electronic or paper form. In addition, the person may change a protocol associated with the medical device or be alerted at a remote location of an alarm associated with the medical device.
“A conventional medical device, such as a blood glucose monitor, is designed to be held in the hand by a user. The user lances a finger to draw a small amount of blood, which is applied to a disposable glucose test strip previously inserted into the monitor by the user. The results are displayed on a screen on the monitor and may also be sent via data cable to a computer for archive. The conventional blood glucose monitor cannot be used without handling by a user so that in an unmanned micro clinic it would not be possible to determine if the last user properly cleaned the monitor, using for example a medicated wipe. A medical device, which is visibly dirty (e.g., portions of the device covered in chocolate, grease from food, dirt, etc.) may be so uninviting to the next user that the user would not wish to clean the device manually, and so the device would need to cleaned automatically.
“Automatic cleaning systems would require the blood glucose monitor to be immersed or sprayed with a liquid disinfectant. The receptacle in the monitor which accepts the test strip, however, cannot be immersed or sprayed with a disinfectant.
“In view of the foregoing there is need for systems for providing affordable and accessible health care. What is needed is a remotely accessed tele-health system providing a plurality of vital signs monitoring devices in a secure, sanitized public access cabin connected to a Medical Call Center (MCC). Users of a tele-health system may be provided with convenient and affordable access to primary healthcare without having to travel a significant distance for care.”
In addition to obtaining background information on this patent, NewsRx editors also obtained the inventors’ summary information for this patent: “In an embodiment, tele-health services cabin includes a plurality of vital signs monitoring devices, a patient chair including a motorized seat back and at least one sensor encapsulated in the seat back, a cabin management unit, and videoconferencing hardware via which a remote practitioner in a remote medical call center videoconferences with a patient in the cabin to diagnose symptoms of the patient. The cabin management unit includes a processor that controls equipment in the cabin, a data input at which patient data is provided from the vital signs monitoring devices, a data output to control the vital signs monitoring devices, and a transmitter connectable to a communication link for bi-directional communication between the cabin management unit and the medical call center, where the transmitter transmits the patient data to the medical call center.
“The plurality of vital signs monitoring devices may include a stethoscope and a height measurement device. The at least one sensor encapsulated in the seat back may be communicatively coupled to the stethoscope. The motorized seat back may include at least actuator that moves the at least one sensor to a position corresponding to a position of the patient’s lungs.
“The processor may determine the position of the patient’s lungs using the following formulas:”
The claims supplied by the inventors are:
“1. A tele-health services cabin comprising: an automatic cleaning system comprising a cleaning chamber; a cabin management unit comprising: a processor that controls equipment in the cabin; a data input at which patient data is provided from a medical device; a data output to control the medical device; a transmitter connectable to a communication link for bi-directional communication between the cabin management unit and a remote medical call center, wherein the transmitter transmits the patient data to the medical call center; wherein the processor includes instructions to perform the following steps: deploying the medical device for use by the patient within the cabin; determining that the medical device has been used and requires cleaning; retracting the medical device into the cleaning chamber; cleaning the medical device within the cleaning chamber; and videoconferencing hardware via which a remote practitioner in the medical call center videoconferences with a patient in the cabin to diagnose symptoms of the patient.
“2. The tele-health services cabin of claim 1, wherein the automatic cleaning system further comprises: a winch disposed above the cleaning chamber, the winch comprising a motor, a cable spool or pulley, and a cable, wherein: one end of the cable is connected to the medical device and the other end of the cable is communicatively coupled to the cabin management unit, and the medical device is suspended in the cleaning chamber via the cable.
“3. The tele-health services cabin of claim 1, wherein the automatic cleaning system further comprises: a first bowl-shaped flap hingedly disposed at a bottom of the cleaning chamber; a first actuator operable to open and close the first flap; a base plate disposed below the bottom of the cleaning chamber, the base plate comprising a second flap hinged disposed thereon; a second actuator operable to open and close the second flap; and a locking mechanism to lock the first flap and the second flap closed.
“4. The tele-health services cabin of claim 3, wherein the automatic cleaning system further comprises: a wash cycle reservoir connected to at least one spray nozzle; a wash cycle pump that pumps cleaning solution from the wash cycle reservoir to the at least one spray nozzle; and a drain pipe coupled to the first flap and the wash cycle reservoir to drain cleaning solution from the cleaning chamber back into the wash cycle reservoir.
“5. The tele-health services cabin of claim 4, wherein the automatic cleaning system further comprises: a primary reservoir connected to the wash cycle reservoir; a clean solution pump that pumps cleaning solution from the primary reservoir to the wash cycle reservoir; and a clean solution pump that pumps cleaning solution from the primary reservoir to the wash cycle reservoir; a first pipe coupled to the wash cycle pump and the at least one spray nozzle, wherein the wash cycle pump receives cleaning solution from the wash cycle reservoir and feeds the cleaning solution through the first pipe to the at least one spray nozzle; and a second pipe coupled to the cleaning chamber and the wash cycle reservoir to return run-off cleaning solution from the cleaning chamber back to the wash cycle reservoir.
“6. The tele-health services cabin of claim 5, wherein: the wash cycle reservoir holds an amount of cleaning solution sufficient for one cleaning cycle; the wash cycle reservoir comprises an outlet to dispose of used cleaning solution to a waste solution reservoir; the automatic cleaning system further comprises: a filter disposed at an inlet to the wash cycle pump to collect debris, wherein the collected debris on the filter is cleared when the used cleaning solution is disposed to the waste solution reservoir.
“7. The tele-health services cabin of claim 4, wherein the cleaning solution comprises water, microbial disinfectants, and detergents.
“8. The tele-health services cabin of claim 1, wherein the automatic cleaning system further comprises an air drying system, the air drying system comprises: an intake fan that draws ambient air into the air drying system; a heater configured to heat the ambient air and to deliver the heated air to the interior of the cleaning chamber.
“9. The tele-health services cabin of claim 1, wherein the processor includes instructions for performing the following steps for cleaning the medical instrument: measuring an amount of cleaning solution required to clean the medical device; retracting the medical device to a predetermined location at the top of the cleaning chamber; determining whether a primary reservoir has a sufficient amount of cleaning solution for a wash cycle; determining whether a waste reservoir has sufficient capacity to hold waste from a wash cycle; pumping cleaning solution from the primary reservoir to a wash cycle reservoir; pumping cleaning solution from the wash cycle reservoir to at least one spray nozzle to decontaminate the medical device; performing the wash cycle for a predetermined amount of time; performing a drying cycle for a predetermined amount of time.”
For more information, see this patent: Sturgess, David. System and method for remote tele-health services. U.S. Patent Number 11328802, filed July 25, 2019, and published online on May 10, 2022. Patent URL: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=11328802.PN.&OS=PN/11328802RS=PN/11328802
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