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Broadmoor Hospital tests new vital signs camera monitoring

13 Oct 2016

New software that enables cameras to monitor a patient’s presence, heart rate and breathing has been successfully tested at Broadmoor Hospital.  The technology even works at night, in the dark.

The revolutionary new technology enabled staff to continuously monitor patients’ vital signs, while asleep, without having to disturb them.  The cameras can be installed safely enclosed inside a ligature-proof secure housing in a seclusion room or patient’s bedroom.  The system does not need any additional sensors or physical contact with the patient.  Display monitors linked to the cameras give hospital staff real time heartbeat and breathing rates and automatically alert them if there are any problems. Staff do not need to view a live video feed of the patient,  but can monitor vital signs via an audible or visual alert.  The system allows patients’ privacy and dignity to be better safeguarded than with traditional visual observations, irrespective of the gender of the member of staff responsible for checking on patients’ wellbeing.

During the trial, seven patients at Broadmoor volunteered to be monitored overnight.  Oxehealth, the company that developed Oxecam, collected 180 hours of data from the trial.  The system correctly identified the patients as being safe 99.8% of the time with 94% of breathing rate estimates within 2 breaths per minute of a separate medically certified reference device. Oxehealth plans to offer the new technology to mental health trusts, police forces, prisons and hospitals where continuous monitoring of people is necessary.

Dr Rob Bates, Clinical Director of Broadmoor Hospital, operated by the West London Mental Health Trust said:

“This trial is a powerful demonstration of Broadmoor Hospital’s commitment to continually improving patient safety and care and our dedication to being world leaders in mental health practice and treatment innovation.  I would like to thank the patients and staff at Broadmoor who gave up their time to help with this study.  Technology like this, if approved and implemented, would help our staff and patients a great deal.”

Jonathan Chevallier, CEO of Oxehealth said:

“I am delighted with how Oxehealth and Broadmoor Hospital have worked together to achieve a world first: monitoring the health of psychiatric patients with cameras in a secure room setting.  This project has demonstrated the potential of the Oxecam technology to improve patient safety, treatment outcomes and well-being and to free up staff time to perform more patient care activities.  We are now working hard on the first production release of the Oxecam and look forward to deploying this not just into mental health but also to detention environments in the police and elsewhere.”

Patient and staff trial sessions at Broadmoor Hospital ranged from 3 to 12 hours in a typical room being monitored by the technology. Volunteers were asked to undertake a range of simple activities for about an hour, from walking around the room to hiding under the duvet on the bed. They then spent the rest of the time doing what they wanted. The patients were monitored overnight simulating the conditions for night-time checks.  As this was a research project, all volunteers were also asked to wear a medically certified reference monitor on their body to independently determine their heart rate and breathing rate.  Oxehealth then compared the results from the wearable device with the data generated by the software.

You can see the technology in action by linking to this video link https://youtu.be/DXSJzhs9IVs

Please note that the YouTube video is for demonstration purposes only.  In the interests of patient privacy there is no active continuous visual monitoring. However, if an alarm is triggered the system does allow video recording to be triggered for later analysis, just as with our current CCTV on wards.