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JMIR Mhealth Uhealth. 2017 Jul 5;5(7):e91. doi: 10.2196/mhealth.7208.

Continuous Monitoring of Vital Signs Using Wearable Devices on the General Ward: Pilot Study.

Author information

1
Radboud University Medical Center, Department of Surgery, Nijmegen, Netherlands.
2
Radboud University Medical Center, Radboud REshape Innovation Center, Nijmegen, Netherlands.
3
Radboud University Medical Center, Department of Internal Medicine, Nijmegen, Netherlands.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Measurement of vital signs in hospitalized patients is necessary to assess the clinical situation of the patient. Early warning scores (EWS), such as the modified early warning score (MEWS), are generally calculated 3 times a day, but these may not capture early deterioration. A delay in diagnosing deterioration is associated with increased mortality. Continuous monitoring with wearable devices might detect clinical deterioration at an earlier stage, which allows clinicians to take corrective actions.

OBJECTIVE:

In this pilot study, the feasibility of continuous monitoring using the ViSi Mobile (VM; Sotera Wireless) and HealthPatch (HP; Vital Connect) was tested, and the experiences of patients and nurses were collected.

METHODS:

In this feasibility study, 20 patients at the internal medicine and surgical ward were monitored with VM and HP simultaneously for 2 to 3 days. Technical problems were analyzed. Vital sign measurements by nurses were taken as reference and compared with vital signs measured by both devices. Patient and nurse experiences were obtained by semistructured interviews.

RESULTS:

In total, 86 out of 120 MEWS measurements were used for the analysis. Vital sign measurements by VM and HP were generally consistent with nurse measurements. In 15% (N=13) and 27% (N=23) of the VM and HP cases respectively, clinically relevant differences in MEWS were found based on inconsistent respiratory rate registrations. Connection failure was recognized as a predominant VM artifact (70%). Over 50% of all HP artifacts had an unknown cause, were self-limiting, and never took longer than 1 hour. The majority of patients, relatives, and nurses were positive about VM and HP.

CONCLUSIONS:

Both VM and HP are promising for continuously monitoring vital signs in hospitalized patients, if the frequency and duration of artifacts are reduced. The devices were well received and comfortable for most patients.

KEYWORDS:

continuous monitoring; remote sensing technology; vital signs; wireless technology

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