Healthcare workers risk exposure every time that they enter the rooms of hospitalized COVID-19 patients. Philips, a global leader in health technology, has received FDA clearance for a new wearable biosensor that allows caregivers to monitor patients for signs of deterioration without entering the room or using valuable PPE equipment. The new sensor can identify subtle signs of deterioration, so providers can intervene hours before a potential adverse event occurs.

The Philips Biosensor BX100 is embedded in a 5-day, single-use skin patch that is worn on the chest. The smart patch measures respiratory rate and heart rate. Along with these top predictors of acuity deterioration, the sensor also registers posture, ambulation, and activity levels.

The sensor communicates its data with a ceiling-mounted Bluetooth router with a 100ft line-of-sight connectivity. The router continually captures data as patients rest in their rooms or move around the hospital ward. Hospital workers can monitor up to 16 patients per router.

Each router transmits data to IntelliVue GuardianSoftware via the hospital Wi-Fi network. The software detects changes in vital signs, motion, and activity, then uses data analytics to determine the significance of the change. When the system identifies a trend that indicates clinical deterioration, it notifies the care team, allowing for early intervention.

A hospital in the Netherlands has already initiated the use of the Phillips Biosensor BX100 — which already holds FDA and CE clearance — to monitor COVID-19 patients. Located in Amsterdam, the OLVG Hospital has installed the BX100 system to monitor patients in isolation with a confirmed or suspected diagnosis of COVID-19, but who don’t yet require a ventilator.

In addition to enhancing early detection, lowering caregiver risk, and easing the demand for protective equipment, the system reduces the time health workers spend taking vitals. Beyond the Coronavirus pandemic, the Phillips Biosensor BX100 provides more frequent monitoring. It can also help reduce human error when assessing or transcribing vital signs.