30 Nov 2015
The Royal College of Nursing has published an article about our pioneering trial of Oxehealth cameras in Broadmoor Hospital, which will help us keep patients safe and free up valuable staff time.
The 6 month study was piloted on five volunteer members of staff, and aimed to see if cameras would be able help us monitor patients’ vital signs in a safer and less invasive way than traditional methods.
Nurses currently have to check on Broadmoor patients every 15 – 30 minutes at night, but they could potentially miss critical health signs in between these checks. Real-time monitoring will ensure that all critical signs are spotted right away, even when the patient is obscured by blankets. It will also minimise disruption for patients, as staff will no longer need to go into their rooms and switch their lights on to check their breathing. The silent and unobtrusive camera system allowed participants to get over seven hours of uninterrupted sleep, which had a significant impact on their health and general wellbeing.
Some patients also require constant monitoring, which means a member of staff has to sit outside their room, taking their limited time away from caring for other patients. Oxehealth cameras free up staff time so they can interact more meaningfully with more patients.
The cameras work by monitoring chest movements to estimate breathing rate, and detect subtle changes in skin colour on the face, or “microblushes”, produced by movement of the blood in order to calculate heart rate. The device, which works in bright light or darkness, is also being developed to identify blood oxygen levels, blood pressure and temperature.
The study showed that the cameras were very accurate in their measurements, and were able to save a significant amount of staff time and improve patient safety.
Neil Ragoobar, interim service director at Broadmoor Hospital, said: “The benefit of this technology is that it is less intrusive and does not disturb the patient. They are likely to get a better night’s sleep, which is important for patients who have mental illness or disorder problems. It enables them to be more alert and positive”.
As the initial study was so successful, Broadmoor Hospital are now seeking approval to carry out a longer trial with more volunteers.