A new wearable vital signs monitoring system is being trialled by St James’s University Hospital, Leeds, which researchers hope could signal the end of time-consuming manual checks on patients.

The British-made system consists of lightweight wireless patch with sensors that can measure and wirelessly transmit patients’ heart rate, respiration and temperature every two minutes to hospital systems, and also alert healthcare professionals to any changes. 

These early warnings should enable staff to respond more quickly to deteriorations in a patient’s condition - improving patient safety, reducing the need for more expensive treatments and shortening hospital stays, according to developer SensiumVitals. 

The trial is being led by Professor David Jayne, Professor of Surgery at St James’s, and will investigate the clinical benefits of the system, its health economic impact and the patients’ perspective in around 100 post-operative participants. 

“Post-surgery, patients’ health can deteriorate rapidly. In these circumstances, it is important that clinicians are able to intervene as quickly as possible,” said David Jayne, Professor of Surgery and Clinical Director for the NIHR-funded Colorectal Therapies Healthcare Technologies Cooperative at St James’s, noting that the wireless monitoring system “has the potential to play an important role in improving patient care in this area”.

The trial is being carried out by researchers funded by the National Institute for Health Research, which funds £1 billion of health research a year.