CDT Postgraduate Studentship in Healthcare Innovation (RCUK Digital Economy Programme grant number EP/G036861/1)
Non-Contact Remote Monitoring
Continuous vital sign monitoring, already possible through a number of contact technologies including photoplethysmography (PPG) and particularly pulse oximetry, allows a continuous assessment of the cardiac rhythm and the arterial oxygen saturation, which can be used as indicators of the overall health of the patient. Such a continuous surveillance is useful in the treatment of chronic diseases as it allows the early detection, and thus potentially improves the prevention, of catastrophic events. Pulse oximetry, recognised as one of the most important advances in patient monitoring in the past decades, has in fact become internationally mandatory for patients undergoing anaesthesia, and is thought to be a potential predictor for a number of complications in post-operative patients, including head trauma and airway obstruction. The detection of further parameters such as blood pressure and arterial behaviour has also been shown to be possible through the analysis of the PPG signal, and could lead to improved diagnoses and disease prevention in patients.
The development of remote vital sign monitoring would retain all of the advantages of contact monitoring while also reducing the discomfort to patients and risks and costs related to the spread of infections in a hospital setting.