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This Hospital Bed Can Save Lives

March 20, 2018, 6:33 PM UTC

Among the biggest priorities for healthcare providers with regards to hospitalized patients is ensuring their comfort. Often that can be a challenge when those receiving care are hooked up to a plethora of sensors measuring heart and respiratory rates, among other metrics.

Continuous monitoring is extremely important for nurses and doctors to detect subtle changes in the heart or breathing rate of a patient that may be indicative of a more serious problem.

One company concerning itself with unobtrusive continuous monitoring is EarlySense.

Dr. Karissa Price-Rico, chief operating officer of EarlySense, demonstrated the company’s FDA-cleared technology at the 3rd annual Fortune Brainstorm Health conference in Laguna Niguel, Calif. on Tuesday. Conference co-chair Dr. David Agus, serving as a guinea pig, laid down on a seemingly normal mattress, fully-clothed with no wires hooked up to him. Sensors underneath the mattress were able to monitor Agus’ heart rate and breathing rate (both reassuringly healthy) in real time, to an accuracy Price-Rico claimed of 5 beats per minute for heart rate, and two breathing cycles for respiratory rate.

While the advantage to patient comfort is obvious, Price-Rico says the health impacts of the system are substantial. “While we’re sitting here today 1,000 people will die in hospital from adverse events. Adverse events means people shouldn’t have died. Had their clinicians known they were deteriorating, they could have prevented that death.”

Price-Rico says EarlySense’s technology could help in the 86% of those deaths that could have been prevented by continuous monitoring.