Hospital embarks on wireless monitoring in ICU
December 9, 2020
MONTREAL – The Montreal Children’s Hospital has received $6 million to develop technologies for wirelessless monitoring patients in the intensive care unit. The funding is being provided by the Montreal Children’s Hospital Foundation and will be spread over a five to six-year period.
A premature baby hospitalized in intensive care, for example, is currently attached to monitors that show their heart rate, skin temperature and oxygen levels in their blood. Another sensor will sound the alarm if there is sleep apnea.
The goal of the project is to take advantage of wireless advances to eliminate all these cables without compromising the quality of care offered, an article in La Presse reported.
“This is a project that we have been thinking about for a few years,” said one of the project directors, Dr. Guilherme Sant’Anna (pictured). We’re basically trying to innovate by developing a new technology that can pick up important patient signs and send them to wireless monitors. “Then you would use artificial intelligence or machine learning to store and analyze those signals.”
The first patients who could benefit from it are those often considered to be the sickest and most fragile in the hospital, said Dr Sant’Anna.
“Neonatal intensive care patients are the most complex and the most critical,” he said. Once it works with these babies, it will be easy to take it further.”
The absence of wires, for example, could make it easier for the parents of these babies to stay close to them to give them that much-needed human contact.
Older patients could potentially enjoy much greater mobility, whether it is to travel elsewhere in the hospital or even to return home while their health is continued from a distance.
For healthcare workers, the establishment of such a “smart hospital” would facilitate access to patients when it comes to providing care. Vital signs would also be recorded automatically, freeing nurses who would otherwise enter them in writing.
The Montreal Children’s Hospital provides healthcare to infants, children and teenagers. Each year tens of thousands of children and families from across Quebec and beyond seek care from its health professionals. It serves patients in both French and English, and interpreter services in more than 40 languages are provided by a dedicated team of medical interpreters and a number of hospital staff.