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Apr 29, 2020

Philips helps to remotely monitor hospitalized COVID-19 patients with smart biosensor technology

Estimated reading time: 2-4 minutes

The University Medical Center Utrecht (UMCU) in the Netherlands is monitoring COVID-19 patients in isolation rooms using a biosensor and Philips patient monitoring technology. Together with Philips, UMCU has developed a solution to monitor these patients continuously yet remotely, reducing the number of times nursing staff need to enter the patient’s room. UMCU hopes this will reduce the risk of its nurses being infected with the coronavirus, as well as reducing the hospital’s consumption of personal protective equipment (PPE) such as single-use gloves, face masks and aprons. UMCU currently has 26 isolation beds equipped with Philips’ smart patient monitoring technology.

 

"The course of coronavirus disease can be quite erratic. During routine checks at the hospital bed, the oxygen level in a patient's blood, its so-called oxygen saturation, seems good and the patient is not short of breath. Shortly afterwards, when the patient presses their alarm bell, the nurse measures again and we see that their blood oxygen level is suddenly very low," said technical physician Martine Breteler from UMCU Utrecht. "Sometimes, nurses can't plot the best clinical course because of this, which makes continuous monitoring very relevant.”

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The system is supported by Philips’ automated early detection and warning solution (IntelliVue GuardianSoftware) (IntelliVue Guardian) - software that continuously analyzes data from biosensors, ‘spot-check’ patient monitors and the nurse’s manual input to detect subtle deteriorations in a patient's vital signs. Based on this analysis, the software generates an early-warning score that shows each individual patient's status to their caregivers, allowing nursing staff to intervene at an early stage if necessary. The biosensor technology measures the patient's position/posture, activity level, heart rate and respiratory rate. Its spot-check monitors measure the patient's body temperature, blood pressure and blood oxygen saturation.

 

"Using this smart technology we can support nursing staff in the care of COVID-19 patients and at the same time help hospitals to prevent infections and reduce the use of protective clothing," said Henk Valk, CEO at Philips Benelux. "We have rolled out this solution in a short time together with UMCU to help healthcare providers. Working together with hospitals like this is one of the best ways can help them to provide care in this very difficult period. I hope that with this contribution, next to increasing patient safety, we have been able to support the doctors and nursing staff.”

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Joost Maltha

Joost Maltha

Philips Global Press Office

Tel: +31 6 10 55 8116