Patients to benefit from new locally developed monitoring system

Sensor Technologies and Devices (ST+D) is investing over £400,000 in developing an innovative wireless health monitoring system that will significantly improve patient care during hospital stays.

Supported by Invest Northern Ireland - with EU support under the NI Competitiveness Programme 2007-2013 - the R&D project is a collaborative venture with CIMIT, the Center for Integration of Medicine and Innovative Technology, located in Boston.

The collaboration aims to develop a miniaturised patient-worn monitor that will provide information on a patient’s heart, respiration, temperature and movement. The devices will use the existing hospital wireless networks to give an immediate indication of change directly to the clinical teams even as patients move around the hospital. This contrasts with traditional monitoring, which is based around hospital beds.

Partners HealthCare, a member of CIMIT and a leading U.S. healthcare system based in Boston, has signed a memorandum of understanding encouraging the project.

Tracy Meharg, Invest NI’s Managing Director of Innovation and Capability, says: “The Life Sciences sector in Northern Ireland has a long and prestigious history and in recent years we have led the field in many areas including medical devices and cancer research.

This innovative and highly differentiated product will be significantly more advanced than anything similar on the market and has the potential to sell globally.

“Invest NI recognises the Life Sciences sector as a priority and is keen to support this type of cutting-edge, market-led research and development,” she adds.

Michael Caulfield, CEO of ST+D commented: “It is a great honour and opportunity to work with such influential and thought-leading medical organisations as Partners HealthCare and CIMIT. They have already greatly informed the specification for this connected health solution and will provide both clinical trials and integration into the hospital IT networks.”

The project will mean ST+D taking on another three staff and the first devices are expected to be market ready by July 2009.

ST+D has recently attracted almost £1 million of venture capital funding for its ongoing activities from a range of investors led by Belfast-based Clarendon Fund Managers and including Enterprise Equity and UUTech.