9 Jan 2014

EarlySense System Approved By FDA for Convenient, Efficient and Less Intrusive Patient Monitoring

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A newly designed bedside monitor system called EarlySense could significantly reduce the clutter involved with patient monitoring. While most devices that keep track of heart rates and respiratory conditions require wires strewn all over the hospital bed, EarlySense does this and more, with fewer wires than ever. Now that EarlySense has been officially FDA approved, it could shortly make its way into a hospital room near you.

EarlySense is designed for use on patients who are usually only monitored by nurses once every four to six hours. In addition to a continuous monitor of heart and respiratory rates, the device also uses special sensors to track motion. Unusual movement could alert nursing staff to check to see if pressure ulcers or bedsores are forming on the patient, as happens too often when patients are checked up on too infrequently. The sensors would also alert hospital staff to a patient that has left their bed, useful in both fall prevention and psychiatric medicine.

Early detection is the key to EarlySense, because it alerts doctors and nurses of deteriorating or otherwise dangerous patient conditions before a serious problem develops. Stopping an elderly patient from getting out of bed in the first place is crucial to fall prevention, and alerts about falling heart and respiratory rates mean that action can be taken swiftly.

Instead of using leads and cuffs that are connected to the patient, vital signs and movement surveillance is performed by a sensor placed underneath the mattress. This gives patients full freedom of movement while in bed, which is very relieving for those who are already under a great deal of stress.

Ultimately, EarlySense makes patient monitoring both more convenient and efficient for hospital staff, and less intrusive for the patients. Now, patient check-ups will already have data on many of the vitals that nursing staff would spend time recording with each visit, and more serious problems would receive immediate attention. EarlySense has already seen some use in hospitals and rehab centers across Europe and the USA, but recent FDA approval could mean more widespread use. It is also commercially available in Canada.