A medical device can take vital signs without contact

Un dispositif médical peut prendre les signes vitaux, sans contact

Un dispositif médical peut prendre les signes vitaux, sans contact

The device, a sort of “patch”, which looks like a white butterfly posed a bit at the top of the sternum, weighs just 24 grams. The patient can change himself, and it is water resistant.


May 31, 2020 10h35

Updated at 11h53


A medical device can take vital signs without contact

Stéphanie Marin

The Canadian Press

MONTREAL — A new lightweight unit to take the vital signs of patients remotely, and then analyzed by the artificial intelligence (AI), may reduce the risk of contamination for patients and health care workers in these times of pandemic, the COVID-19.

As it monitors the symptoms continuously and transmits it to a computer’s vital signs like the temperature, no need of a nurse who will take them in person, either by touching the patient.

“This decreases the contacts,” said its inventor, doctor and engineer Fabrice Vaussenat, president and ceo of the company Inomedis.

In addition, as everyone is trying to avoid going to the hospital in order not to be contaminated, the device connected to Inomedis allows a cardiologist, for example, to monitor one of his patients without he moves.

Winner for the doctor, winner for the patient.

The device, a sort of “patch”, which looks like a white butterfly posed a bit at the top of the sternum, weighs just 24 grams. The patient can change himself, and it is water resistant.

“MyAngel VitalSigns” should soon be field-tested at the Centre hospitalier de l’université de Montréal (CHUM).

“It was thought to use the patch in the current crisis” of the COVID-19, said Dr. François Tournoux, a cardiologist and clinical researcher at the CHUM research Centre (CRCHUM), which will oversee the trials in a hospital environment.

Because the COVID-19 is a disease that is not well known, and one of the keys to treating these patients is close surveillance, because we know that their condition will deteriorate very quickly, and that it is hard to predict their progression, he explained in an interview.

However, this monitoring is normally done by the nurses who are going to take the temperature and monitor other vital signs.

Except that the more the caregiver remains in a room, plus it exposes the patient to the virus, and the more he exposes himself.

Wondering what to do, the doctor thought of the device Inomedis that it had already examined prior to the pandemic.

“We realize that the device can provide all the information that the nurse can get in the room.” But she should dress her protective equipment from head to foot before entering it, he remarked: mask, coat, visor, etc, A process more cumbersome, which also requires a lot of personal protective equipment.

But there is more, judge the specialist.

We should have much more data, and continuously. “I will be more able to detect the condition of the patient if it deteriorates,” says Dr. Tournoux.

Dr. Tournoux has not yet carried out its planned studies in a middle-of-care, but he built hopes on this patch, because it has already had the opportunity to try and manipulate it.

He believes that it will meet a need that is not filled currently. “It will be an added value, highly appreciated by the teams”, anticipates the cardiologist.

It has evaluated other devices, which collect various vital signs, including those that it wants to monitor, “but they are very heavy to deploy”.

The inventor and his creation

Fabrice Vaussenat, the man who designed this device, is of French origin. It has developed it thinking of her brother, who lives in Drummondville. The latter lived with a heart defect and did a cardio-vascular incident. He is now severely handicapped and unable to walk.

“The idea is part of that,” he said. If I did that, it is for him.”

It is, therefore, of Quebec city, where he plans to install his invention will be manufactured: the headquarters is already in Montreal.

Dr. Vaussenat detailed the possibilities of the small device: it has three electrodes, which allows to monitor a host of things, he says : the heart, and thus defects of the heart, the oxygen saturation, which allows to monitor the respiratory status and respiratory rate, blood pressure, hydration (important for patients malnourished) and heart rate, among other things.

Round this without cuff, without line, without electrical outlet, and with an electrode compared to the devices currently on the market, ” he says.

Monitor vital signs in hospital environments, with a holter for example, “this is heavy”, says the doctor, Tournoux and this requires an apparatus, which is not always available for all patients.

All of these signs are analyzed by the brain installed in the computer powered by the AI, which can be programmed to watch for signs of a disease or condition specific, such as sleep apnea or heart attack, for example.

“The added value of the device, it is also the artificial intelligence behind,” said Dr. Vaussenat. We took our databases and it has resulted in our algorithms”.

“All these elements are combined in the patch is its strength. It multiplies the certainties,” adds the inventor.

And as in these times of pandemic and after, “MyAngel VitalSigns” allows you to do telemedicine.

Thus, there is no need to wait to get an appointment at the hospital. The doctor can consult data remotely from the patient and analyze the situation : “it activities to ease the obstruction of the system,” argues Dr. Vaussenat.

The device is not yet on sale in the country, it is subject to delays in delivery of parts caused by the COVID-19. The tests that need to take place at the CHUM are currently delayed (formalization of the study protocol and validation of the ethics committee), but should have held the fort soon, according to Dr Tournoux. After that, the device will be able to complete the process of regulatory approval from Health Canada.

The research done will see the benefits of the device, advance Dr Tournoux who plans to collect the opinions of the doctors, nurses and patients.

As to the inventor, it has many other uses : for patients in remote areas, and to avoid seniors, multiple displacements, for example.

But it also uses the more surprising: for high-level athletes, for example — it has been tested in football players — and even the FBI has even pointed to its booth at the Consumer Electronic Show (ces) last year, reported Dr. Vaussenat.

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