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Bed sensor keeps unobtrusive eye on vital signs

Sunday, May 25, 2014 - 02:28

May 25 - A bed sensor developed by an Israeli team is proving to be an effective and more reliable alternative to conventional patient monitoring technology. The sensor is designed to unobtrusively monitor a patient's vital signs from beneath their mattress and is less prone to sending out false alarms to nursing staff. Tara Cleary reports.

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A device called EarlySense, placed under mattresses in an Israeli hospital, is helping to ensure that patients' vital signs are monitored accurately, but unobtrusively. EarlySense's CEO, Avner Halperin says the sensor is an effective and safer alternative to conventional monitors which require the attachment of wires to a patient's skin. SOUNDBITE: AVNER HALPERIN, EARLYSENSE CEO, SAYING (English): "It's based on a sensor, which is this one you see it here, which is placed under the mattress of a bed and monitors the patient continuously without ever touching his body, of heart, respiratory and motion. And gives alerts when the earliest warning signs of deterioration are present. And that makes the nurses and doctors much more effective in intervening early and keeping them out of trouble." And Halperin says EarlySense is much less prone than conventional systems to send out false alarms, which over time can desensitise carers to the possibility of a real emergency. Connected to a bedside computer, the device monitors breathing, heart rate and heavy body movement. SOUNDBITE: AVNER HALPERIN, EARLYSENSE CEO, SAYING (English): "These three signals go through the mattress, are collected by this passive plaque which is like a passive antenna, digitized and then algorithms that we developed over ten years make that into very accurate vital signs that then are analysed and based on that, when something begins to go wrong, an alert is indicated to the nurse and physicians." Anat Margel, a nurse here at the Dorot Geriatric Hospital, says EarlySense has been a lifesaver. SOUNDBITE: ANAT MARGEL, NURSE IN CHARGE OF TREATMENT SAFETY AT DOROT GERIATRIC HOSPITAL, SAYING (Hebrew): "Two and a half years ago, before we started working with the system, we unfortunately had two incidents of patients that were found dead in their beds. Ever since we've been using the system and we monitor the patients, we identify the difficult condition of those patients. We had at least three of four incidents of ventricular fibrillation that the crew literally saved patients' lives." EarlySense costs around $7,000 U.S. dollars and is used in about two dozen hospitals in America. A sensor for home use is also being developed and Halperin says he's confident that these devices will significantly reduce patient emergencies, and save lives.

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Bed sensor keeps unobtrusive eye on vital signs

Sunday, May 25, 2014 - 02:28