MonitorMe is a Class IIa medical device. It is plugged into a standardlandline socket replacing or alongside the normal domestic telephone. An automated call is triggered ata pre- arrangedtime or as required by your health professional, whereupon MonitorMe will accurately capture a patient’s Vital Signs.
Vital Signs are used by every clinician as a key indicator of a patient health status. Until now only a professional face to face consultation ensured data that could be trusted by a clinician for diagnosis. Now MonitorMe alone can invisibly and reliably record the same data, and furthermore show by trend graphs how this has changed over time.
MonitorMe is held, left hand against the left ear, in a way that is unique, intuitive and comfortable. Held this way it hits an ergonomic hot spot where the key Vital Signs can be recorded easily and reliably. It leaves the right hand free to press buttons on the keypad in answer to questions tailored to the individual’s needs. Results appear in seconds, whilst algorithms in the handset assess and rate the quality of data collected during the entire call, allowing accurate, reliable and repeatable results.
SPO2 or blood oxygenation, temperature, pulse, heartbeat, ECG, Pulse Transit Time (blood pressure), sentience (ability to answer questions) and respiration can be captured. These are the exact measures normally taken by a nurse bedside and are now being brought together under a new patient measurement scheme called NEWS.
NEWS is the ‘National Early Warning Score’, developed by the Royal College of Physicians under the chairmanship of Professor Bryan Williams of UCL, an early supporter of MonitorMe. NEWS is to become a nationally standardised system to assess a patient’s state of health, helping professionals understand where best to administer resources. NEWS is typically a bedside set of measures that can take a nurse 3-10 minutes. The data captured by MonitorMe can be used to calculate NEWS in 1-2 minutes anywhere, with no professional in attendance, and can track the score over time.
MonitorMe transmits critical health data. Hence it needs a rock solid reliable communication method. At present the mobile phone is inadequate as conduit for vital health data. Lack of 3/4G signals, Wi-Fi or Broadband is not uncommon in remote & rural areas where Home Monitoring is most needed. Mobile batteries go flat, the ringer can be turned off or the handset left out of hearing. Such challenges prevent mobile devices being suitable as medical grade Vital Signs monitors.
Cordless phones offer reliable communications, but buttons are typically on the handset. Pressing buttons to answer questions not only disrupts the readings but reduces accuracy as patients must remove the device from their ear.
The handset has been carefully designed to suit 9 to 90-year olds with all manner and size of hands, ears and heads. It will work with; nail varnish, long nails, coloured skins, mass head hair, beards and so on. We are yet to identify many for whom it will not work.
Being able to remotely monitor Vital Signs allows health professionals to maintain duty of care even when the patient is at home. Hence a patient might be discharged from hospital sooner, a worrying condition can be monitored at home without admission and the risk of infection, a chronic disease can be checked routinely or a vulnerable loved one overseen remotely by a carer, all at very low cost. The question is less where it might be used, more where it is not the most cost-effective way to monitor health!
The device itself is designed for mass manufacture at low cost, so low that it becomes feasible to issue free to patients and then not bother recovering it when no longer needed. As more and more patients own MonitorMe the lower the cost of monitoring becomes. There is a small monthly charge to cover the cost of the automated call, the transmission of data, its storage and presentation to health professionals and loved ones in a secure web based format.
MonitorMe was developed in the UK by Sanandco, a socially orientated health start-up with offices in Cambridge. It is manufactured in Nottingham as a CE marked Class IIa medical device. It has been designed and developed with the assistance of academics and professionals from UCL Hospitals, UCL Business and University of Newcastle.