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Expert Rev Med Devices. 2019 Feb;16(2):145-154. doi: 10.1080/17434440.2019.1563480. Epub 2019 Jan 6.

Wearable sensors to improve detection of patient deterioration.

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a Department of Surgery and Cancer , Imperial College London , London , UK.
b Department of Cardiology , West Middlesex University Hospital , Isleworth , UK.
c Division of Infectious Diseases , Imperial College London , London , UK.


Monitoring a patient's vital signs forms a basic component of care, enabling the identification of deteriorating patients and increasing the likelihood of improving patient outcomes. Several paper-based track and trigger warning scores have been developed to allow clinical evaluation of a patient and guidance on escalation protocols and frequency of monitoring. However, evidence suggests that patient deterioration on hospital wards is still missed, and that patients are still falling through the safety net. Wearable sensor technology is currently undergoing huge growth, and the development of new light-weight wireless wearable sensors has enabled multiple vital signs monitoring of ward patients continuously and in real time. Areas covered: In this paper, we aim to closely examine the benefits of wearable monitoring applications that measure multiple vital signs; in the context of improving healthcare and delivery. A review of the literature was performed. Expert commentary: Findings suggest that several sensor designs are available with the potential to improve patient safety for both hospital patients and those at home. Larger clinical trials are required to ensure both diagnostic accuracy and usability.


Continuous monitoring; hospital; patient deterioration; vital signs; ward patients; wearable sensors

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