Medical equipment and supplies are incredibly expensive, so very few hospitals own all the items they need. Instead, institutions borrow heavily from one another — amounting to USD 10 billion worth of assets leaving hospitals every year. LendMed is an inventory system that will enable hospitals and departments to keep on top of these exchanges — a function that currently has no technological aid.
LendMed is a digital lending network, which can be accessed via kiosks, smartphone applications or portals — connecting departments within a hospital and hospitals with their region and nationwide. To begin, departments upload their inventory to the system — everything from machinery and standard equipment such as wheelchairs, to pharmaceuticals and single use items such as bandages. Then, whenever they need to borrow something from outside of their inventory, they post a request, which LendMed automatically sends only to similarly-stocked departments. If someone can help they approve the request, and if the item is from a different facility, they can organize a courier — all within the system. Users can create and send invoices too, making it easier for users to organize the return of those items.
LendMed’s system means there is automatically a record of all exchanges that take place. The data collected can also be transferred to detailed reports, which can reveal patterns in the exchange, and highlight items that are frequently borrowed and may need to be purchased. LendMed is currently seeking departments and hospitals to join a nationwide case study and test the equipment for free. Could a similar system be implemented in any other industries that use expensive equipment?