In times of surgery, we assume (and hope) that our doctor and anesthesiologist will perform accurately. We have no choice but to have a measure of faith in them.
When IDMED commissioned us to create a 3D animation of their medical device ToFscan, it was fascinating to learn how technology can help medical professionals perform better and therefore ensure better care for patients. ToFscan raised a question we hadn’t wondered before: If anesthesia impacts patients’ respiratory ventilation, muscle function, and mechanics, how does an anesthesiologist know when anesthesia has safety cleared from a patient’s system? At what point can the anesthesiologist remove artificial ventilation from a patient and allow the patient to breathe on his own?
Without technology, anesthesiologists have to qualitatively guess if a patient is ready to breathe without artificial ventilation. It is a subjective judgment. Even now in countries with limited technology, this is how it’s done.
But with the ToFscan device, anesthesiologists can objectively and quantitatively monitor neuromuscular blockade and the patient’s reversal. ToFscan is a neuromuscular transmission monitor. Put in laymen’s terms, the device sends stimulation signals to a patient. When a patient’s body has reversed and cleared the effects of anesthesia, his muscles will naturally respond and reflex at each signal. ToFscan monitors the patient’s neuromuscular response before, during, and after surgery.
ToFscan has multiple critical features. Unlike other monitors, ToFscan doesn’t require any calibration and is easy to place on a patient. There are four sensors which are ergonomic. Its tri-dimensional accelerometry ensures accurate readings of muscular response, even if the patient is in various positions. The device also operates both on battery and power supply. Thus it operates continuously while mobile and in situ.
We’re grateful that technologies like ToFscan can help professionals be more accurate. But we learned that some countries do not have this kind of technology still. It is our hope that technology like this will be available worldwide and that better healthcare will be better to all someday.