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Disposable Wireless Monitoring Device Measures Patient Vital Signs

October 2, 2015
by Heather Landi
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Health IT company Sensium Healthcare developed a disposable, single-use wearable patch that monitors patient vital signs every two minutes and wirelessly communicates the vital signs to clinicians.

According to London-based Sensium Healthcare, the SensiumVitals system is a lightweight, wireless wearable single patient use patch designed to monitor patients’ pulse rate, respiration rate and body temperature on general wards and then wirelessly communicates that data to clinicians on the hospital general floor or in emergency room via the hospital’s IT infrastructure.

The company says the SensiumVitals system was designed to serve as an early warning system to alert nursing staff when pre-set thresholds are exceeded to enable early intervention and, ultimately, improve patient outcomes and shorten hospital stays.

Changes in vital signs can be indicators of deterioration in a patient’s condition. Generally, the majority of patients in the general ward of the hospital have vital signs taken only once every four to eight hours. According to the company, infrequent monitoring means that if a patient’s condition deteriorates, it may go unnoticed, which potentially leads to longer stays in the hospital, more expensive treatments or even admittance to intensive care.

Anthony Sethill, CEO of Sensium Inc., said in a statement, “Patients can be tracked and monitored unobtrusively and continuously in real time when wearing the patch. A preliminary study of SensiumVitals monitored patients reported that hospital stays were shortened with additional cost savings on overall treatment.”

SensiumVitals is currently in trials in two National Health Service hospitals in the U.K., at St. James University Hospital in Leeds and Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham.

According to the company, the SensiumVitals patch can integrate with existing hospital technology via a router-like “bridge” to the hospital IT system that reports to a nurses’ station, central monitoring station or any point-of-care Microsoft-based, Web-enabled device, including hand-held devices.

The digital patch is FDA-cleared, energy efficient and battery-powered using a proprietary digital radio chip to monitor patients’ vital signs, the company said. The device uses a very low power radio to transmit the patient’s information instead of using Wi-Fi or Bluetooth solutions.

As the wearable patient is disposable, it can be discarded when a patient is discharged, which eliminates the need for cleaning and sterilization.

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