Monitors in ICUs are troubling to patients, as well, so it's critical that false alarms be minimized so as not to disturb patients trying to relax or sleep. As the testing progresses, nursing staff are becoming more confident that the device is issuing alarms only when patents really need attention, Graydon says. "It's a great technology that we're just learning about," she says.
"The nursing staff is excited about this new technology that gives them more information about their patient without requiring them to do more work, or adding some sort of data collection along with it," Graydon says. "Nurses are here to take care of people, not to take care of equipment. It's a great way to keep your patients safe and know what's going on at a distance, if you will."
A benefit of using ViSi Mobile in a postorthopedic surgical setting is to monitor patients' oxygen saturation while they are being administered opioid medications for pain, because such medicine suppresses the respiratory system. Continuous mobile monitoring can spot trends in respiration or blood pressure over a 24- to 48-hour period that intermittent vital sign collection can miss, Graydon says.
In phase 3 of the trial, now in the planning stages, data from ViSi Mobile devices will flow directly into Intermountain's electronic medical records, Graydon says. "I think this type of monitoring could become a standard of care," she says.
Three categories of mobile monitoring are emerging in healthcare and wellness, according to John Mattison, MD, CMIO of Kaiser Permanente, which serves more than 9 million members and employs more than 16,000 physicians.
Mattison says the first category encompasses super-athletes and warriors. Special military forces are intensively tracking their personnel's vital signs with mobile technology in cases where the health of the soldier is vital to completing the mission. Athletes are trying to squeeze "every last erg of energy" out for highly competitive events. "In five years, it will be standard practice for even high school athletes to be wearing this stuff periodically to ensure they don't have any risk indicators for sudden death or adverse consequences," Mattison says.
Category 2 is patients recovering from a hospital discharge or serious illness, Mattison says. Category 3 is "the rest of us," where mobile devices can play a "powerful role" in the initiation and reinforcement of healthy behaviors, he says.