Two NHS cardiologists set up EKORA to provide a streamlined Raspberry Pi-powered system that protects confidentiality and saves clinicians time, after finding that inefficient paper-based records for patients with pacemakers and defibrillators presented an obstacle to effective care.
Dr Alan Robertson and Dr Dougie Elder set up EKORA to address the glaring need for more efficient patient record management. As cardiologists, they had personal experience juggling huge patient lists and trying to access data from pacemakers and other medical equipment quickly and securely. Legacy paper-based systems are mistake-prone, take countless staff hours to produce and maintain, and require a fair chunk of hospital space to store.
Raspberry Pi Zero to the rescue
Dr Robertson realised that you can save and send information in an encrypted form using Raspberry Pi, satisfying the NHS’s security protocols. The pair developed the EKORA box to take the place of the successive small strips of paper that would otherwise be generated by a thermal printer integrated into a ruggedised laptop reserved solely for this purpose. It’s a much more compact and low-power solution, and is sturdy enough to be wiped down for infection control.
Raspberry Pi Zero W here essentially pretends to be a flash drive, and the EKORA box can simply be plugged in to the special pacemaker programmer/reader laptop. The code for the device has been developed and tweaked over time using feedback from the medical staff who use it, and no specialist computing knowledge on their part is required to operate it: once the Zero W inside has booted up, the device appears as a flash drive connected to the pacemaker programmer laptop. They can then save the data to it, and the data is automatically encrypted and securely sent over the network to the EKORA server.
Read more about how EKORA works
You can read a lot more about how the EKORA cardiology device works in our Success stories section. There you’ll also find lots more examples of the ways our industrial customers use Raspberry Pi technology, from factory floor management and marine conservation to agricultural robots and automated product testing.
You can also read this case study by Dr Robertson and Dr Elder to find out more about how EKORA supports cardiology care in NHS Lothian hospitals.