A European first: Maria Middelares General Hospital uses wireless technology for patient monitoring

Wireless monitoring of vital signs

It is clear that the Philips sensors reduce work loads in the hospital. They are fitted onto patients’ bodies and wirelessly measure vital signs such as heart rate, body temperature, blood pressure and respiration. If the patient’s condition deteriorates, the nurse is informed by the sensor via the digital medical record. The nurse can then intervene immediately if required. ‘We have closely monitored these vital parameters for the past five years, and we have succeeded in reducing the number of reanimation procedures by 80%. By automating these measurements using a variety of wireless technologies, time is freed up that allows care providers to perform other patient-oriented care tasks,’ according to Maria Middelares General Hospital.

Additionally, the sensor automatically signals an early warning score (a score used to determine a patient’s medical condition). ‘In the past, this score was calculated and entered manually. If the score went up, monitoring frequency increased too. This represented an increase in work load for the nurses and decrease in comfort for patients’, says Kurt Roesbeke, project team member at Maria Middelares General Hospital.

This is proof for us that smart technology increases commitment and also makes for more patient-friendly treatment.

Personalised care

The project is unique in Europe and demonstrates how the technology makes the care sector safer as well as more efficient. ‘This project can be a model to show how smart technology enhances the quality of care. It should also be possible to make additional improvements to care paths by means of exhaustive analysis and developing new algorithms. These are interesting times,’ relates Medical Director Ronny Goethals.

Philips has announced that the pilot project will be rolled out further and that it will even be possible to monitor patients at home in future.

Care providers can now fully focus on the provision of personalised care. For instance, measuring and objectively assessing respiration has so far been very complex and time-intensive, and these tasks have now been taken over entirely by the sensor.