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First European Bio-Monitor Beds

A company called Hoana Medical manufactures hospital beds which track their occupant's vital signs. As always, the technology is easier to develop than the trial of gaining regulatory approval. Hoana seem to have now traversed the gambit of gaining legal authorisation to use their life-saver to save lives, and are ready to start installing in hospitals.

The LifeBed is an intriguing take on wearable healthcare. The patient lays on a double mattress - the Hoada one completely covers the old, existing one and contains medical sensors and is hooked up to the diagnostic network. This frees up an y necessity to wear sensors whilst in bed, and frees up the necessity for trailing wires. The bed itself is an ordinary hospital bed of any design.

The mattress monitors vibrational changes in the patient - the rate of breathing, and the heartbeat. It also picks up the much larger movements if a patient is shifting around. If for example, the patient is getting very close to the edge of the bed, and their weight distribution does not indicate they are sitting up, then the network is queried. If fall bars are not recorded present on that particular bed, an alert is triggered.

The same alerts trigger if breathing stops, or heartbeat slows too low/races too fast.

Data is continually transmitted to a LifeBed display monitor hung on the wall by the bed or elsewhere in the room. To transmit the alert, a wireless call system is integrated into the network of LifeBeds, and this is used to page the closest nurses to an imminent problem.

Basically, it allows a level of intensive care for a couple of biometric signs, for each patient in the hospital, without the necessity of employing more staff to do this. Often it allows intervention before a fall occurs, or medical staff to be notified within seconds of a problem developing, but without any tubes or needles for problem patients to pull out.

An added benefit is a different take on the ability to detect when a patient is sitting up on the edge of the bed. If they have been ordered to get bedrest, hospital staff can be notified by that bed, the very instant they try to swing round to get up, even if the patient thinks they are alone just then.

According to Hoana's internal statistics, when under trials, Lifebed managed to prevent up to 90% of fall injuries usually sustained, simply by letting the staff know what was happening, a few seconds ahead of time.

Further Reading

Hoana Medical

Hoana Medical Acquires CE Mark to Expand Patient Safety Technology to European Market

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