Medical grade biosensors that allow remote measuring of important diagnostics in hospital settings make patient stays more comfortable and help doctors improve care. They also reduce costs by minimizing manual hospital checks. Now an extended wear version of a biosensor that makes this kind of real-time, personalized care possible has been cleared by the FDA.

VitalConnect, Inc., creator of wearable biosensor technology for hospital settings and remote patient populations, recently announced its fifth market clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The clearance extends the wear duration for the company’s Class 2 wearable biosensor, the VitalPatch, from 96 hours (four days) to 120 hours (five days). Five days is the length of the average hospital stay. The VitalPatch monitors eight patient vital signs continuously in real time: ECG (electrocardiography), heart rate, heart rate variability, respiratory rate, skin temperature, body posture, fall detection, and activity (steps). Caregivers are able to access this information through one device on a mobile platform. The biosensor is integrated into a patch that adheres to the patient’s skin; it is for single patient use and is fully disposable. It’s also being used in post-discharge monitoring, remote patient monitoring, and in clinical trials.

The extended wear sensor could lead to greater patient compliance and engagement. If patients don’t have to be tethered to diagnostic machines for the entire length of a typical hospital stay, it’s possible they’ll move around more, recover faster, and leave the hospital sooner. Constant monitoring can also detect problem situations sooner (such as a spiking fever). This will not only reduce healthcare costs, but increase quality of life for both patients and care providers in the hospital setting.