Idle minds, idyll finds

Sept. 28, 2020

When the goings get tough, the tough should innovate.

With a growing number of people working from home these days who aren’t trained or used to the “freedom,” you’d surmise that many succumb to idling along and “wasting” time (as in non-productive tasks for the boss and the corporation).

Idle minds tend to beget one of three things in a person: Ennui, crime or creativity.

If you’re a first-moving forward thinker, being cooped up courtesy of the coronavirus during the last seven months hopefully motivates your creative bug – not only to search for ways to protect people from the pandemic or prevent it from perpetuating, but also to cope with it as we navigate “The New Nominal.” (See August 2020 SKU’d.)

Like how, for example?

  • Beyond investing in UV-C light sanitizer/sterilizer units on wheels to clean surfaces as well as portable UV-C light devices for environmental services staff to use, what about equipping drones with this capability, too? How about a smart-phone app that can emit UV-C light?
  • Using the QR reader app on your smart phone to interact with touchscreen kiosks, rendering them “touchless?” What if the O.R., nursing floors and other internal departments could order supplies that way? Or even homecare/telehealth patients?
  • Installing body-temperature monitoring devices in doorways and in freestanding kiosks akin to real-time location systems (RTLS) and radiofrequency identification (RFID) capabilities?
  • Equipping staff with smart eyewear (e.g., Google Glass II?) or even wearable lapel sensors that can check body temperatures of people groups in minutes? And what if those wearable sensors could detect COVID-19 aerosolized particles suspended in the air in front of you?
  • Installing a building fan system powerful enough to pull air up into the HVAC system, equipped with high-acuity filters and scrubbers that deactivate or nullify the COVID-19 virus, rendering it inert before expelling the air outside?
  • Creating face masks woven with transparent microfibers that enable the facial expressions of people wearing them to be seen by those who thrive on visual emotional communications and connections, such as adults and children with special needs?
  • Using computer-projected 3-D holography similar to what the Radiological Society of North America showed at its 100th Scientific Assembly and Annual Meeting nearly six years ago to augment virtual education and exhibition?
  • Developing do-it-yourself COVID-19 testing (as a springboard for other virus testing, too), akin to home pregnancy tests, DIY DNA tests and DIY colorectal cancer screens? And then transmitting the results to your physician via secure email or electronic health record access?
  • Installing a microdot sensor in the nasal/throat swab to detect the virus in real time without the caregiver having to shove the swab too deeply into the passages?
  • Developing a hand sanitizer that functions effectively like a glove, solidifying by friction as you rub your hands together? It can be washed off with soap and water but not deactivated by water alone – or sweat?
  • Some call the 2020 pandemic a “black swan” event – or something unpredictable that sparks profound circumstances and consequences – or a “gray rhino” event – something largely predictable but dismissed or ignored until it was too late. Prevention and protection efforts by politicians and regulators so far seem to be more “white elephant.”

    Thankfully, within this crisis-oriented viral zoo noir, we have four-color clinicians, administrators and professionals who fight in the trenches for their patients and communities and subscribe to the three Rs. We are responsive, resolute and resilient.