The University of Pennsylvania Health System is currently undergoing a 3-week pilot program to test wearable patient monitors in the medical surgical cancer unit. According to Penn Medicine associate chief information officer Jim Beinlich, the program is intended as a “proof of concept” to determine whether the FDA-approved hospital devices would be useful to patients and clinicians.
Initial feedback suggests the program is effective, Beinlich said. The devices are worn on patients’ arms, and have altered hospital workflow, allowing nurses to take vital signs remotely. That system also allows patients to sleep more easily through the night.
At present, the monitors have not been integrated into the electronic health record, so nurses still transcribe and enter data manually, according to a report from MedCity News. However, the hospital’s wireless network still had to be upgraded in advance to accommodate the monitors. Should the hospital decide to make the program permanent, said Beinlich, Penn Medicine may need to explore further network upgrades.