Even without the COVID pandemic, hospitals have been struggling with staffing shortages, resulting in increased workloads for those covering patients. Simple tasks such as collecting vital signs can be a challenge. Automating the process also makes it possible to collect data around the clock, and not just when a healthcare worker is available to take the measurements.

The Indian company Dozee hopes to help with the problem. They have received FDA clearance for their contactless vital sign measurement system. A sensor pad is placed below the patient’s mattress, where it senses micro-vibrations that it translates to heart and respiration rates, as well as body movements. The cloud-based algorithms interpret the data and send it to remote monitoring dashboards so that multiple patients can be tracked from a single station.

The system can also save money and valuable hospital resources. For example, it can serve as a step-down coverage for patients who otherwise might take up an intensive care unit bed.

While this is a clinical product at the moment, it has the potential to benefit patients outside the hospital. It could be used for hospital-in-the-home services, and eventually, as a sensor system to support caregivers who monitor individuals who are aging in place.