If you have ever been hospitalized, you are probably familiar with the drill; at certain intervals, a nurse or technician will come and take your “vital signs” including heart rate and temperature. This data helps healthcare professionals track your condition, and recognize when these numbers start trending in the wrong direction. One big problem is that these readings are taken four to eight hours apart, and may miss important changes. This can be an acute problem for those patients who are not alert enough to notify staff when their conditions change.

Sensium Healthcare has a solution. Their SensiumVitals system is a disposable wireless sensor that provides patient data at two-minute intervals, for up to 5 days at a time. The system tracks heart and breathing rates, as well as body temperature. It communicates with the the hospital network over a proprietary wireless system, and can generate alerts for physicians and nursing staff if a patient’s numbers stray out of predefined ranges.

In pilot studies, the professional staff found the system convenient and an improvement over the traditional monitoring of patients’ vitals. By catching changes more quickly, patients receive treatment sooner, which in turn can increase the chances for positive outcomes and shorten costly hospital stays. The system has received approval by the FDA and the European Union.