The problem of patient safety persists, with about 1.2 million reported patient care incidents in NHS hospitals last year alone.
Now a ground-breaking wireless patient digitisation platform is being extended to address critical patient safety issues and enable improved patient monitoring and alerting both in hospital and at home.
Isansys Lifecare Ltd, the provider of complete real-time physiological patient status systems and services, has been awarded £1 million by Innovate UK and NHS England through the Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) programme to rollout an award-winning digital platform that when generally deployed will significantly improve patient safety.
The substantial healthcare contract follows the successful completion of two SBRI Phase I contracts in which Isansys demonstrated how the Patient Status Engine – an innovative, continuous vital sign acquisition, analysis and prediction platform – could provide low cost, continuous, high resolution monitoring for all patients in hospital and create new applications and care pathways through data-driven physiological biomarkers, for example, for the early detection of sepsis in chemotherapy patients at home.
The SBRI Healthcare Phase II contract will now enable the Oxfordshire-based company to increase the functionality and extend the intended use of the PSE, which integrates a range of advanced medically certified wireless wearable vital sign sensors. This will not only meet the demands of healthcare providers for innovative, market-ready solutions, that can enable improved patient monitoring and alerting both in hospitals and at home, but it will also address crucial patient safety issues; to reduce the number of avoidable deaths and adverse events in hospital, reduce lengths of stay, and enable new pathways to keep patients out of hospital in the first place.
Keith Errey, CEO of Isansys, said: “There is a pressing need to improve patient safety, the way patients are monitored and how patients’ data is collected and analysed. Remote monitoring systems that use wireless, sensing and information technologies to collect and analyse patient data show great promise in delivering better care, improving patient safety and enhancing clinical outcomes. These technologies can also help reduce the costs associated with avoidable patient deterioration, medical errors, readmissions to intensive care wards and admissions (and readmissions) to hospital.”
The announcement of the substantial funding from the SBRI to Isansys comes as the Kings Fund, a UK health charity that shapes health and social care policy and practice, reports that the shake-up of the NHS implemented early in the term of the coalition government, but now largely reversed, was misguided, deepened the growing problems facing A&E units and left the NHS weaker, structurally “incomprehensible” and less able to improve care for patients. The focus now however is firmly on the patient and on improving efficiencies. Patient safety is the key priority and as the current Minister for Health has stated, safer care is lower cost care.
The total costs relating to patient safety including bed days, ‘re-work,’ litigation and unrecorded events are more than £5 billion annually, a huge sum that is largely a wasted expense.
Mr Errey said: “Except for those in intensive care wards, most patients in UK hospitals are inadequately monitored. Even high dependency patients often fail to receive the necessary higher intensity monitoring due to a number of factors including suitable beds and nursing resource.
“Patients in general wards have their “obs” taken at long (up to eight hourly) intervals during which time significant negative changes in a patient’s status can occur. Such infrequent monitoring makes it almost impossible to identify trends that might have been able to predict the patient’s deterioration.
“The PSE provides a solution to all of these issues, as well as allowing the patient greater freedom and security. By significantly improving patient monitoring and providing more robust and timely early warning indicators, the PSE can also enable healthcare providers to reduce the number of in-hospital avoidable deaths and adverse events, and to discharge patients earlier and with greater confidence.”
For the last two years, Isansys has been working with a number of hospitals and healthcare service providers to deliver patient monitoring services and patient status solutions based on the first generation of its Lifetouch system and Patient Status Engine (PSE) platform.
It was the success of these projects that helped secure the second phase of the SBRI contract. Isansys is now developing its second-generation devices and systems in line with the next wave of market demand and these are about to be put into service in several locations.
To find out more about Isansys’ second-generation systems, please log into the website www.isansys.com or call 01235 436229 for more information.