Real-time Monitoring of Patients in Challenging Environments

Ambulatory ECG Monitoring - Real time vital signs monitoring

Real-time Monitoring of Patients in Challenging Environments

"A thorough understanding of the technical issues faced in developing a novel wireless network inside a hospital environment was critical to the practical success of this project”.
- Nigel Whittle, Head of Medical & Healthcare

The Challenge

Our US-based client wanted to develop an ambulatory electrocardiogram (ECG) monitor that could record and transmit information from adult patients undergoing treatment in a hospital.

Their vision was to monitor vital signs of ambulatory patients in real-time and then transmit this data via the standard wireless medical telemetry frequencies used in hospitals.

However this poses a significant challenge as indoor wireless networks within hospitals are notoriously unreliable due to reflective surfaces, solid walls, beds and wards, which all cause interference with existing band signals.

The Approach

We determined that the system would need to reliably transmit accurate readings of heart rate determination, R-wave detection, ECG filtering and arrhythmia recognition.

In order to ensure complete reliability, our approach was to incorporate multiple antennas to ensure communication with the patient-worn telemetry packs.

A new bespoke system was developed which included radios, signal processing, software and a new secure band level for our technology, ready for adoption by hospitals.

The Outcome

The final product was a system with sufficient bandwidth to reliably monitor up to 189 patients at any given time, providing a holistic healthcare approach by allowing multiple patient monitoring.

We were able to support our client throughout the entire development cycle, from initial concept to final manufacture, providing a custom-made service that exactly matched our client’s needs.

The system was approved by The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in the USA, and over one third of all US hospitals are now routinely using this monitoring system.

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