EarlySense study finds patients get more sleep using its remote monitoring system

In the study, which was conducted at the University of Chicago, patients in the intervention group were monitored with EarlySense's sleep monitor instead of being woken up for nightly vital checks.
By Laura Lovett and Jonah Comstock
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With constant interruptions and vital checks, getting a good night of sleep in the hospital can be a challenge for patients. 

But a recent EarlySense study conducted at the University of Chicago found that using the company’s contact-free remote monitoring system as an alternative to waking patients up for vital check throughout the night led to better sleep and satisfaction for patients. 

“What the study actually shows is ... you get improvement in sleep quality, patient satisfaction and the efficiency of the nursing team by focusing their attention on the patients that really need care, and those that are stable and low risk don’t need to be woken up at all,” Avner Halperin, CEO of EarlySense, told MobiHealthNews. 

The study included approximately 150 patients, who were divided into a control and an intervention group, according to Halperin. Low-risk patients in the intervention group were not woken up at night between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. 

The intervention group reported better sleep and increased satisfaction. The study, which was funded by EarlySense, also found that patients monitored by system “incurred no additional deterioration or adverse events, versus the control group.” 

“There is no increase in risk whatsoever for the patient, and they sleep better and are more satisfied, so we save a lot of clinician time — which is by the way also equivalent to dollars and cents,” Halperin said. “We show that by using our system you can actually take better care of patients, because you get early warning and you can intervene sooner and you have fewer visits to intensive care, shorter length of stay, fewer falls, etc. And that was already shown in previous research.”

Researchers estimated that this practice could lead to a reduction in overnight staff workloads, decreasing costs by $200,000 to $550,000 per 100 hospital beds per year. 

The study is now being submitted to peer-reviewed journals for publication. 

WHY IT MATTERS

In a hospital setting patients are typically woken up several times a night for vital checks. Studies have shown that sleep disruptions are associate with negative health outcomes including elevated blood pressure, delirium, and delayed healing

EarlySense is pitching its technology as an alternative to the manual checks that require waking a patient up. 

“The way we see it is that you probably need fewer vital sign checks and not all patients need frequent checks,” Halperin said. “You probably are going to need those checks and you want physicians to be at the bedside for those more complex, higher risk patients. But for 50 or 60 percent of the patients who are completely stable, what this study shows is we can do much less vital sign manual checking and still get better outcomes.”

WHAT'S THE TREND

EarlySense made headlines in December when it announced that it was integrating with Hill-Rom’s Centrella model hospital bed. The company said that the new technology would be able to measure heart rate and respiratory rate over 100 times per minute. 

A month later EarlySense announced a $39 million funding round led by Hill-Rom and Wells Fargo. At the time the company said that the new money would be used for expanding its AI analytics capabilities and grow sales both internationally and domestically. 

ON THE RECORD
 
“In this study, we were able to accurately identify low-risk patients and avoid waking them at night, with the safety net of continuous vital sign monitoring,” Dr. Dana Edelson, the study’s principal investigator, said in a statement. “This practice represents a simple, patient-centered approach to deploying expensive healthcare resources which improves patient satisfaction and decreases costs without increasing risk. Letting our low-risk patients sleep at night is an easy win and should be the new standard of care.”