Nursing monitors

IP-based nurse call system provides non-body-contact vital signs monitoring as well as patient movements, a fall and epileptic seizure.

Photo: Nursing monitors

A novel IP-based nurse-call system is being demonstrated at Medica by Finland’s Emfit Ltd*. This system integrates common patient peer-button and nurse-present/nurse-needs-assistance buttons with bed monitoring that uses a multi-patient, long-use under-mattress sensor, Emfit reports. ‘New DVM (discreet vitals monitoring) technology senses and calculates patient approximate pulse and respiration rates, as well as movement activity and even epileptic tonic-clonic seizures, from below the mattress. The system uses standard IP protocol to connect to LAN, and can be used for adults and children.’
Emfit’s DVM (discreet vitals monitoring) technology measures basic physiological parameters (pulse rate, respiration, movements) passively, from below the patient’s mattress, without the use of electrodes, leads, cuffs or cannula, the company points out. This versatile system can be used for various notifications, monitoring and vitals trend tracking needs in establishments such as hospitals and for the care of retarded people, the elderly and mental patients, Emfit reports. Besides input for Emfit’s dynamic, thin-film under-mattress sensor, system has inputs for patient-peer-button, equipment with dry-contact output, and nurse-present/nurse-needs-assistance buttons.
The DVM system makes most of the calculus of different measurement parameters and events via the embedded electronics at the bedside and thus produces a minimal amount of data in order not to load the LAN or the server.
Heart and respiration strengths, rates, movement activity and various alarms and nurse acknowledgements are logged and stored in the server. This allows tracking vitals and movement activity trends over long period of time.
DVM technology consists of Emfit’s proprietary, patented dynamic thin film sensor, installed below mattress, and a digital signal control unit interfaced with LAN. The self-biased sensor responds to small pressure changes caused by patients BCG (ballistocardiogram) and respiration movements and generates a respective output voltage signal. The digital signal data acquisition unit uses Emfit’s patent pending algorithms in calculating heart and respiration rates, strengths, and movement activity from the sensor signal.
The system alerts the nurse with various user-preset parameters; for example when a patient pushes the bedside peer-button, leaves the bed, or has a seizure with muscle jerking that lasts over a preset time. It is also possible to generate several other types of alerts in the computer software, which also records and visualises the vital signs and motions. The system can alarm for example of a too low motion activity, to prevent possible bedsore, Emfit adds.
‘We started to develop this product concept in 2003. The most challenging job was to develop the algorithms to accurately calculate the pulse and respiration rates in real time from our under-mattress-installed, dynamic, thin film sensor. Also the software solution to control multiple beds and transfer alarms to nurses via new thin-client type displays was challenging.  During the years of development, the easier parts were complementing the bedside device with patient and nurse buttons. Our goal was to develop a whole new concept for care environments of multiple low-risk patients, and use standard LAN and WLAN infrastructure; a new-age nurse call system with assisting non-diagnostic monitoring. However, the intended use of our product is not monitoring of vital physiological parameters, where the nature of variations is such that it could result in immediate danger to the patient. We see a big potential for this product in hospitals and care of the patients who are elderly, retarded or mental cases,’ said Heikki Räisänen, CEO of Emfit.
* Founded in 1990, and located in Finland, Germany and the USA, the company reports that it is the world’s leading ferroelectret sensors and related embedded sensor systems
Details: Telephone +358-14-332 9000
Mobile: +358-500-678767 (CEO Heikki Raisanen)


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