The breathing of 40 COVID-19 patients in Beaumont Hospital in Dublin is being continuously, remotely monitored with RespiraSense.

Currently, breathing (respiratory rate) is the only vital sign that is monitored manually in general hospital wards. This is usually done by a nurse watching a patient’s chest rise and fall over a 60-second period, which is time consuming and not always accurate.

However, in Early Warning Scoring (EWS) of patients, according to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), respiratory rate has always been recognised as the single most reliable early indicator of deterioration, rising up to 24 hours before a significant event and before any of the other markers, including pulse oximetry.

Now more than ever, healthcare providers around the world are being called upon to help bring better outcomes to every patient.

Since 2011, PMD Solutions have been developing a solution: RespiraSense – a Continuous Respiratory Rate Monitor which can remotely monitor the breathing of multiple patients, simultaneously. RespiraSense has an error rate of just plus or minus one breath and is also the first device that can monitor breathing remotely.

Anne Dorney,  PMD Solutions’ Chief Financial Officer said: “An increased rate of breathing is the first indicator that something is wrong. The sooner you can detect changes, the sooner medical staff can act and, right now, time is particularly of the essence.

“Our device, which has gone through numerous clinical trials, can warn healthcare providers about a change in a patient’s respiratory rate and signs of deterioration up to 12 hours earlier than the standard monitoring method.”

One of the main advantages right now for healthcare providers using RespiraSense is that they don’t have to keep donning Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to monitor the breathing of COVID-19 patients.

RespiraSense is now being adopted in three Dublin hospitals and other hospital systems are in the process of evaluation. As well as being gradually deployed in HSE hospitals in Ireland, it has also been adopted by the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK. There, we expect RespiraSense to be installed on beds of at least 30 hospitals by the end of 2021. Hospitals in Canada, Belgium and Saudi Arabia are in the process of product evaluation.

RespiraSense costs as little as €7 per patient per day. It consists of a wireless lobe which is attached to a single use removable sensor which is placed on a patient’s rib cage. It then monitors the patient’s breathing, sending the data to a bluetooth-enabled tablet. If the patient’s breathing rate goes above a certain threshold, an alarm goes off and alerts care staff on duty.

Now, during this healthcare pandemic crisis, with RespiraSense, healthcare providers have a real opportunity to make early warning scores earlier, to enable earlier intervention, resulting in better COVID-19 patient outcomes.

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