Patients in hospitals are monitored to keep track of their vital signs. Those in intensive care are connected to monitors that issue alerts when numbers get out of range, but the average patient is only checked at four-hour intervals throughout the day. This is the typical standard-of-care (SOC) method, but it can be slow to notice a rapid change for a vital sign such as body temperature. Wireless remote monitoring can provide more frequent readings, which in turn can result in a faster response to a change in vital signs.
A recent study by researchers at University Hospital Seidman Cancer Center in Cleveland, Ohio, explored the potential benefits of a remote monitoring system. They studied patients who were admitted for stem cell transplant or high dose chemotherapy because their immune systems are susceptible to infection. A spike in body temperature over 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit was viewed as a temperature rise (TR) for the study. The patients’ temperatures were taken every four hours by medical staff using the SOC method. The patients also wore remote temperature sensor patches from TempTraq, which recorded the temperature every 10 minutes.
Over the course of the study, the SOC method identified 23 TR events. The remote monitors identified 21 of these events, and did so from 30 to 180 minutes sooner than the SOC method. The average delay between the remote monitor detection and SOC method was 2 hours and 20 minutes. Patients were able to wear the patch without problems. The ability to detect a rising temperature sooner could result in a faster treatment response, and help deliver better outcomes.