Philips unveils wearable wireless vitals patch that goes from hospital to home

IntelliVue Guardian wearable patch--Courtesy of Philips

Royal Philips ($PHG) has debuted a novel wireless patient monitoring product that it expects will be used to monitor patients in the hospital, as well as after they return home. It's all part of the bigger picture for the imaging giant, which is working hard to refocus itself entirely on healthcare technology and to shed its lighting businesses.

The company expects that its consumer experience will be an asset as it treads deeper into healthcare, enabling it to span both the hospital and the home--a difficult task that few, if any, have yet to master. Its consumer business spans everything from televisions to electric toothbrushes to breast pumps. Last year, the company rolled out a slew of consumer-oriented health wearables, including a watch.

Its new remote patient monitoring system, dubbed IntelliVue Guardian, includes a patient monitor, wireless biosensor as well as clinical decision support software and services. The system is intended to be used in low acuity hospital settings, with the patient returning home and continuing to wear it.

Jeroen Tas, CEO of Healthcare Informatics Solutions and Services at Philips

"We are a market leader in patient monitoring. Around the world about 40% of patient care units have Philips devices," Jeroen Tas, CEO of Healthcare Informatics Solutions and Services at Philips, told FierceMedicalDevices in an interview. "We are within the hospital to track patients and provide the full status of those patients and at all times monitor them. This also gives us the opportunity to have patients wear a patch when they get discharged and continue to monitor them when they get home. This is another proof-point around our ability to give patients seamless experiences in and out of the hospital."

The system's medical-grade, wearable biosensor continuously measures vital signs including heart rate, respiratory rate, skin temperature and activity data; it includes a single-lead ECG.

The data is wirelessly transmitted to the Philips IntelliVue Guardian Solution, where analytics detect clinically significant changes and identifies patients who are at risk of deterioration. It then sends an alert to a caregiver or physician.

Philips started down its path toward this monitoring system based on conversations with healthcare providers who were looking to address specific issues such as helping nonacute hospital patients to in recovery and transitioning back to home. The expectation is that the resulting analytics could help patients improve patient outcomes, reduce costs and improve quality of care.

"We envision a future where patients enabled by connected health technologies will recover faster with fewer complications and greater peace of mind in the hospital and subsequently at home," Carla Kriwet, CEO of Patient Care and Monitoring Solutions at Philips, said in a statement. "Connected sensing solutions and the value created by the rich and actionable data they generate, can have a very positive impact on the chronically ill by helping to reduce associated costly adverse events, complications, unplanned transfers back to the ICU and longer lengths of hospitalization."

- here is the announcement