Engineering for Patients: SCE Students Develop a Product to Prevent Theft at Soroka Hospital

Three students from the Sami Shamoon College of Engineering along with a team from Soroka Medical Center are working on developing a product they presented and stood out at the Hackathon conducted at the hospital

Interesting cooperation between the Soroka Medical Center and Mechanical Engineering students at the SCE may reduce a particularly painful phenomenon: theft from patients during their hospitalization. This problem was raised by the hospital staff at the hackathon they held last month at Soroka, and three SCE mechanical engineering 4th year students that participated in the event presented two possible solutions to prevent the theft of mobile phones and tablets from hospitalized patients.

The students, Aviv Dadosh, Omer Goder and Yonatan Yaakobi, presented a solution in the form of a small and personal safe that will be attached in a small cabinet to the patient’s bed. The students studied the cabinet and the bed and found a suitable place for the safe such that it cannot be removed and stolen. The students also designed a universal product that locks on to the patient’s bed and holds a telephone or a table in a locked state, so that the device cannot be removed without a key or the telephone disconnected without a suitable electronic circuit.

The SCE students won second place at the hackathon and the hospital immediately contacted them in order to further the safe project. After meeting with the hospital’s Associate Director General and head of Administrative Management, Yarden Nevo, the three students understood where and how they should locate the safe in a protected place in the cabinet, and they are already in the initial prototype development stage. The hospital is interested in first conducting a test trial in one of the departments.

“Before the hackathon began we had a preliminary meeting with the individual who initiated and managed the event, the head of the Neurology department, Prof. Gal Ifargan”, the three recounted. “He told us about the limitations of the hospital, about the main difficulties that they and the patients experience, mainly indicating the theft issue – with an emphasis on mobile devices, wallets and tablets that people bring with them when they are hospitalized.

“We began writing a product specification, just like we learned at the College. We took into consideration different elements, such as the shape of the bed, the limitations of the patients and easy patient access. Finally, using software programs we learned in our degree studies we arrived at a product that we presented to the Soroka staff. Following in-depth tests and consulting with the staff we found that the best solution would be to attach the safe in a cabinet next to the patient’s bed.

“The hospital’s Director General asked us to continue the process with the relevant entities at Soroka, and therefore we met with the hospital’s head of Administrative Management. We are heading into exam period at the College now, but in parallel we continue to meet with the hospital staff to advance a real solution for hospitalized patients”.

Dr. Gdalya Mazor, head of the Mechanical Engineering department at the SCE noted: “The multi-disciplinary training we impart to our students in the Mechanical Engineering department gives them a significant advantage in planning and developing innovative products. Therefore, I am not surprised that they were selected by Soroka Medical Center management to continue to develop a prototype of the product they designed.

With the support of the College our students participate in numerous competitions and hackathons in Israel and the world on a regular basis. They are always ranked in the first places and are highly esteemed for their creativity and for the level of projects they design”.