Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Monitoring stress of patients in ICUs

Here's a link to an intriguing paper produced by Julia Somerdin, a participant in the MIT System Design and Management program.

She states the challenge:

A cost-effective, reliable, and real-time information system for monitoring the stress of patients in intensive care units (ICUs) is missing from current ICU systems. This presents an important opportunity because [among other things]:
  • ICU patients, often unable to report on their stress and pain levels, rely primarily on nurses' training and knowledge—yet, because nurses can visit patients only periodically, pain can only be assessed intermittently;
  • Pain and stress ratings are often subjective, even guesswork, and nurses treating the same patients often disagree with each other because of their varying levels of training and experience.
She offers an approach:

ICU Cam enables non-invasive monitoring of stress and pain using a remote smart camera mounted on top of a patient's bed. Its capabilities include:
  • remotely measuring stress during complex dexterity tasks, such as surgery; and
  • transfer of reliable real-time results to physicians via data visualization.
With these tools:

The embedded software system consists of four modules:
  1. Camera server-side data collection and processing
  2. Networking module for Wi-Fi transmission
  3. Client-side data receiver
  4. Graphical user interface that provides data regeneration and interpretation.
With these results:

During lab testing, ICU Cam measured heart rate and heart rate variability with over 96 percent accuracy. Additional benefits may include:
  • Early detection of pain to help doctors provide early relief to patients incapable of self-reporting;
  • Reduced length of ICU stay, resulting in substantial savings for hospitals and insurance companies; and
  • Increased ICU efficiency and reduced nurse workload.
I'm sure she'd like to know your reactions to all this!  Please comment here.

1 comment:

ebonyeyes said...

I have racked my brain for over two years trying to come up with how best to monitor deteriorating ICU patients who can not alert the staff that something is wrong. My father went into distress while in ICU and the staff did not know it. I walked in his room and found him unresponsive. He died eight days later. Since 2012 I have researched and found different suggestions such as "Early Sense, Between the Flags, and Cisco Video Monitoring." I was told by a staff member of the hospital that my father had a call button. Well,if a patient goes into distress such as a heart attack, or stroke,or other serious situation, hence the reason for being in ICU, how can they suddenly come out of it to press a call button? Therefore I am in 100% agreement with "A cost-effective, reliable, and real-time information system for non-invasive monitoring of the stress, pain and subtle or sudden deterioration of patients in intensive care units (ICUs)such as an ICU (I See You) CAM." This needs to be put in place yesterday!However, my concern is, if someone is suppose to be at the nurses station to watch the cam, and they are not, then a remote back up such as "Cisco Video Monitoring (Tele-Medicine)" needs to be in place. I will sign on every dotted line I have to, to enforce strict more stable monitoring of ICU patients. Please support my cause for this at