Hospital patients could have their vital signs tracked without cumbersome wires and complex monitors once a new startup's wearable monitoring patch hits the market.
VitalConnect is building a lightweight, disposable patch that can be affixed to a patient's chest and wirelessly sends vital signs including heart rate, ECG read out and rate of breathing to a mobile app. The patch has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration and provides clinical grade accuracy in monitoring, the company said.
"It is very small, comfortable and fully disposable," Dr. Nersi Nazari, VitalConnect's CEO, said on Wednesday during a demonstration at the Fortune Brainstorm Health conference. One patch can be worn for four to five days and can survive getting wet in the shower, he noted.
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The patch, which could also be worn by patients at home, has the ability to detect if the wearer has fallen down. If a fall is detected, the patch can wirelessly notify a doctor or other party.
VitalConnect is also developing a cloud-based service to analyze the health data collected by the patches. The software ultimately could help physicians decide how to treat a patient or decide when the patient is ready to be discharged from the hospital, Nazari said.
For more about medical wearables, see: Can a Wearable Fitness Device Predict Your Heart Attack?
"The data is sliced and diced and analyzed to the condition that the doctor is looking at," Nazari explained. "We do not want to bombard doctors with so much data that it's just not useful."
VitalConnect, founded in 2011, is seeking to combine expertise in bioengineering and data analytics. Nazari previously worked on semiconductor chip design at Marvell Semiconductor. Joseph Roberson, the company's chief medical officer, was formerly chief of otology-neurotology-skull base surgery at Stanford University.