The UK's NHS is continuing its experiments with wearable tech with two trials of Snap40, a health wearable worn on the upper arm, which continuously monitors hospital patients' vital signs.
The wireless device packs six sensors, which track heart rate, respiratory rate, temperature, oxygen saturations, blood pressure, posture, movement and even emotion. Snap40 will be used with 500 patients across two hospitals in Fife and Edinburgh, Scotland in April and May.
The data is transferred via Wi-Fi twice a minute and then put through machine learning algorithms before doctors and nurses view it on smartphone apps to analyse any changes i.e. how stable each patient is. The idea of the early warning system is that hospital staff can prevent patient's conditions worsening, reduce hospital stays and save doctors and nurses having to manually monitor vital signs.
Snap40 is the work of a Scottish health tech startup, which has been awarded £1 million in a healthcare development contract by the NHS. It is aiming to get its tech into seven more hospitals - six in the UK, one in the US - by the end of 2017.
We first heard about NHS plans to introduce health monitoring wearables in summer 2015. Then in early 2016, the first Diabetes Digital Coach project went live in the West of England. People with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes were sent mobile and wearable sensors in order to manage their condition at home in between appointments.
It was the first of seven test beds for tech in the health service around the UK with other trials planned around mental health. Since then, startup eLucid mHealth has been working with the NHS on a trial of a connected medication management for dementia sufferers in Surrey.
Source: Wired UK