Subiaco hospital uses wearables to reduce workplace injury

Tuesday, 16 June, 2020

Subiaco hospital uses wearables to reduce workplace injury

WA’s St John of God Subiaco Hospital has introduced wearable devices in a bid to reduce workplace injuries.

Developed by global safety science company Soter Analytics, the wearable technology captures and measures hazardous movements and coaches workers using real-time feedback and in-app training.

The device continually assesses body movements and alerts the wearer when they are moving in an unsafe way. This awareness allows the user to alter their posture, ultimately reducing the risk of injury.

St John of God Subiaco Hospital Manual Task Consultant Shane O’Brien said the hospital jumped at the opportunity to pilot SoterSpine.

“Many roles at our hospital require manual handling. Moving a patient or bed incorrectly, or lifting a heavy object the wrong way can lead to ongoing issues.

“The SoterSpine has been successful in supporting caregivers in a variety of roles, including nursing, engineering, cleaning and maintenance.

“It has even been useful in ensuring the safety of injured staff returning to work,” he said.

Happy with the benefits that the technology is bringing, the hospital is now working with Soter Analytics to develop their latest project, the SoterShoulder. Similar to SoterSpine, SoterShoulder is a solution that identifies and trains workers to avoid movements that commonly lead to shoulder injuries.

Soter Analytics CEO Matthew Hart said, “We are particularly excited to have the opportunity to work with St John of God Subiaco Hospital to develop our SoterShoulder.

“The results and feedback have been very positive. Piloting this device in a hospital setting has allowed us to better understand movements that can lead to injury.”

Both solutions aim to build awareness and encourage caregivers to change their manual-handling technique through real-time feedback from the device. Over time, this awareness and self-correction can lead to long-term changes in movement, reducing workplace injury.

Image caption: St John of God Subiaco Hospital caregivers Rosie Cook and Shane O’Brien wearing the SoterSpine device.

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