UK-based firm Oxehealth has developed new software to improve care for dementia patients through continuous monitoring of activities and vital signs.
The technology employs a combination of computer algorithms and optical sensors to recognise movements and capture accurate heart and breathing rates in real time.
The company is planning to use the captured data in conjunction with artificial intelligence to help in detecting other disease factors such as onset or progression, which may allow early diagnosis.
Currently, the software is being evaluated for its capability to remotely monitor patients admitted to the dementia ward at the Manor Hospital in Coventry, England.
Oxehealth chief executive Hugh Lloyd-Jukes said: “Oxehealth has achieved a world first. We have never before had the capability to constantly monitor a patient’s heart rate, breathing rate, activity and other routine data in this way.
“Patients could stay in their own homes or wherever they’re most comfortable without the need to come to hospital. That will save everyone a huge amount of time, money and stress.”
The UK Government expects that the remote software can be further utilised to better monitor people held in mental health hospitals, prisons and police custody suites.
Such people, who are at risk from self-harm, drugs or alcohol intoxication, injuries and complications from medication, cannot be fitted with wired devices to prevent self-harm or attacks on staff.
With funding from the Innovate UK grant, Oxehealth and Broadmoor Hospital, Berkshire partnered to alter the optical sensor system for secure mental health settings, as well as use in nursing homes and patients’ houses.