A US Agency for International Development (USAID) grant is funding US medical device company, the Scripps Translational Science Institute (STSI), to test and develop an eHealth programme that will use wireless wearable health sensors, a wireless vital signs monitoring platform and advanced analytics technology as part of a new approach to treating Ebola.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the 2014 Ebola epidemic is the largest such outbreak in history, affecting multiple countries in West Africa, with more than 13,000 confirmed cases and more than 9,000 deaths.

The programme, referred to as Sensor Technology and Analytics to Monitor, Predict and Protect Ebola Patients, or STAMP2 for short, aims to improve health outcomes for Ebola patients, increase the safety of healthcare workers and reduce the risk of spreading the virus to others.

This will be carried out by testing the effectiveness of wireless technology to monitor and analyse vital signs of patients either suspected or confirmed to be infected with the Ebola virus. It is hoped that continuous monitoring of vital signs along with analytics can lead to earlier detection of Ebola symptoms, as well as to earlier intervention and treatment.

Wireless vital signs monitor developer, Sotera Wireless, Inc., wireless health sensor developer, Rhythm Diagnostic Systems, and personalised predictive analytics technology company, PhysIQ, will also collaborate on the programme.

By integrating the ViSi Mobile System from Sotera Wireless and a MultiSense sensor from Rhythm Diagnostic Systems into systems of care, patients will be able to be monitored at all times, allowing changes in their condition to be recognised sooner, and without needless exposure to healthcare workers.

Data from the monitors will be transmitted wirelessly to a personalised physiology analytics platform developed by PhysIQ, which will use advanced machine learning algorithms to detect subtle changes in a patient’s physiological profile over time, compared to the patient’s physiological baseline.

“The new approach will provide unprecedented visibility into a patient’s physiology that we believe will be invaluable in improving care in minimising risk of exposure during an Ebola virus outbreak,” said Director of Digital Medicine at Scripps Health, Steven Steinhubl, M.D. “This will open the door to being able to identify warning signs very early on, when potentially lifesaving care can be provided.”

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