In recent years several new technologies for remote healthcare have been investigated, including wireless sensors, low-power connectivity units and back-end software.
Newly formed Isansys Lifecare has integrated these components into to a user-friendly end-to-end system, which they hope to market in various healthcare settings.
‘We have a very strong “keep it simple” design philosophy. If you bring anything like this into a clinical setting, it has to be absolutely simple to use; you must have a system that has very little requirement for intervention,’ said chief executive Keith Errey.
The company has produced its own discrete body-worn monitor that continuously and remotely captures physiological data, including electrocardiography, respiration rate, temperature, blood pressure and blood oxygen levels.
The Engineer was told that it is of particular importance to use such systems to continuously monitor the vital signs of patients with chronic diseases and those with higher risk of serious adverse events such as strokes and heart attacks.
The device connects wirelessly to a local gateway that then aggregates the data and puts it into a network. From the network it goes to a database, which then distributes relevant information to authorised users.
Errey acknowledges some of the potential security and privacy issues of managing so much personal information, saying that data will be fully encrypted and very difficult to gain access to.
The company hopes to conduct clinical trials that will be vital in bringing the technology to the market.
‘At the moment we’re focused on working with clinicians and policy makers who want to demonstrate that this kind of technology leads to two things: improved clinical outcomes and overall reduced costs,’ Errey said.
Once the benefits have been demonstrated, this will allow more care to be taken outside of the acute setting and into lower care environments. It will also allow researchers to see the changes in physiological parameters that occur in patients with high-risk conditions in order to better understand and manage the condition.
‘It’s very expensive to keep a hospital running, but if you can provide that same level of involvement between the clinician and the patient through these kinds of continuous monitoring systems, then that patient can easily be at home, or in a care home, or a less costly setting.’
Isansys will shortly be announcing results from a key European clinical trial based on the Isansys Lifecare Platform.
System-on-chip technology is enabling the development of body-worn wireless devices to monitor patients’ health, says Keith Errey. Click here to read more.