11 Jun 2015
West London Mental Health Trust has taken part in a successful proof of concept study at Broadmoor Hospital using cameras as remote health monitors.
The study, conducted by by Oxehealth, was part funded by the government under the Smart scheme administered by Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency.
Using the Oxecam, the project trialled camera-based health monitoring software to enable the unobtrusive, non-contact monitoring of patient vital signs in a secure room setting, increasing patient health and safety.
The six-month study has been successful, monitoring volunteers’ heart and breathing rates as they carry out typical activities – in particular, enabling them to rest with seven hours’ undisturbed sleep and a lower level of manual supervision. The new trials will seek to further develop this technology into a real-time prototype capable of operating in the day to day of a working high security mental health hospital, with volunteer subjects.
“We are delighted with the results we’ve seen so far from our trial use of Oxecam,” said Dr Amlan Basu, Clinical Director at Broadmoor Hospital. “There are some very clear benefits for both our staff and patients which means it is in the interest of all parties to pursue this area of innovation.”
The study was carried out through the monitoring of five non-patient volunteers at the hospital, recording health parameters for extended periods during both day and night and while volunteers partook in typical activities.
Situations in which the secure room automated camera-based monitoring technology is beneficial include:
- Providing extended monitoring. Currently with regular periodical monitoring – which occurs every 15 to 30 minutes by staff under normal circumstances -changes in critical health signs between checks may be missed.
- Better status reporting. It can be difficult to determine health by sight only – individuals can often be seen to be asleep, but may have a health issue that needs to be acted upon. The view of the patient may also be obstructed, meaning staff may have to enter the room and at night switch on a light, which is counterintuitive to rehabilitation.
- Reduction of staff/improvement in productivity – high-risk individuals often require around the clock monitoring, which reduces staff ability to carry out other functions and puts further demands on limited resources.