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New technology can monitor babies and children simply, easily and more efficiently

New parents often find themselves overwhelmed with the responsibility of taking care of a child. Besides every day issues of care, there can also be concerns about the child’s health and well-being.

But, what if your child got sick or your baby was born prematurely? Careful and continuous monitoring would be critical, and, as a parent, you would want to ensure your child was getting the best level of care, whilst also feeling comfortable in their surroundings.

Physicians caring for the sickest patients at childrens’ hospitals globally can now monitor an infant or baby continuously and in real-time, ensuring deterioration is identified more quickly and timely treatment can be given. This is all done without the encumbrance of cables or leads, which means children are free to play or be held by their parents without having to be physically hooked up to a monitor.

Isansys Lifecare, a new generation digital healthcare company, has developed the Patient Status Engine, a Class IIA, CE-marked medical device, which uses the Lifetouch smart patch technology to provide continuous heart rate, respiration rate, heart rate variability and a real-time ECG. Other clinically validated wearable devices provide a complete set of vital signs that the PSE uses to calculate minute by minute early warning score (PEWS or NEWS) to alert for early signs of deterioration.

According to Dr Neil Patel, Consultant Neonatologist and Investigator in the Early Life Innovation Group at the Royal Hospital for Children, Glasgow, this crucial information is leading to enormous improvements in care.
He believes the new technology not only provides an additional layer of care for younger patients which has previously not been available, but it will allow staff to care and handle babies much more easily because of the absence of wires, collect and analyse physiological data centrally, and flag up early warning signs of deterioration much more quickly.

Dr Patel, who is leading the 12-month project, added: “We have been over-whelmed by the interest of staff and parents in the neonatal unit who are very enthusiastic about the study and the potential of a wireless system to improve care for babies and their families.

“We are now also very interested to investigate the potential of the Isansys system in other settings, for example to monitor babies outside the Neonatal Unit, on the ward with their mother, or even at home in selected cases.  The system may also be useful in older children and adults who need similar monitoring.”
The PSE, which is simple and easy to test drive in any hospital or department, is also currently being used in a pioneering research project at Birmingham Children’s Hospital which aims to save thousands of children and young people’s lives.

The project, called RAPID (Real-Time Adaptive & Predictive Indicator of Deterioration), is using biotelemetry and the wireless sensors designed by Isansys Lifecare to collect real-time data on vital signs such as heart rate, breathing rate and oxygen levels. This data is then analysed to predict when a child’s condition may be deteriorating, providing an early warning system that can be acted on immediately.

The project, the first of its type in the world, is jointly funded by a £1.8 million grant from the Wellcome Trust and the Department of Health, through the Health Innovation Challenge Fund.

Nearly 800 participants have been recruited to the study to date and they are on target to have recruited 1,200 patients by the end of the project in 2017.

The use of the PSE in the hospital means that observations normally recorded every one to four hours on paper charts can now become a thing of the past with continuous individual monitoring that gives more accurate information helping to lead to faster treatment – saving lives and reducing hospital stays.

Dr Heather Duncan, Birmingham Children’s Hospital intensive care consultant and lead on the RAPID project, believes this technology will change the way we care for patients in hospital forever.

“Monitoring children and neonates is a delicate task, but is one that is absolutely vital,” she said. “With this technology now available, we’re able to monitor patients more closely and ensure a more accurate prediction of a patient’s deterioration. We’re also giving families the opportunity to get rid of cables and allow their child to have some freedom whilst being monitored continuously and receiving the best care possible.”

If you would like to join these leading clinicians and hospitals in using this next generation Patient Status Engine patient monitoring platform please call +44 (0) 1235 436225 or email