RespiraSense wins European Space Agency contract to fight COVID-19

Posted by PMD Solutions on Nov 23, 2020 11:55:40 AM

PMD Solutions Ltd, in partnership with Beaumont Hospital, Dublin, is undertaking a space-enabled medical solution “CORONA-RS” - to scale community monitoring of respiratory compromised patients in the community due to Covid-19 and other respiratory compromised patient cohorts. 

Covid-19 has transformed the way we care and treat respiratory-compromised patients both in the hospital and now in the community. For healthcare systems to operate effectively it is essential that they either build more facilities or empower patients in the community. The latter is where most healthcare systems are placing their beds. 

One of the biggest challenges for community monitoring is the level of technology required to get information from the patient to healthcare provider. Current solutions include ‘middle ware’ devices to send information from devices to clinicians using devices such as mobile phones, tablet computers, patient WiFi, etc. This is significantly slowing down the rate of adoption. It is far too cumbersome and, often, the ageing demographic are not in a position to be both patient and IT support for such systems. In addition, patients require the ability to leave their home to visit family, buy groceries, or to simply go for a walk. This presents an additional challenge for ‘middle wear’ systems to ensure emergency services get to the right location as quickly as possible. 

CORONA-RS is a collaboration between PMD Solutions, European Space Agency, and Beaumont Hospital to develop a world’s first patient wearable using 5G technology to eliminate the need for any unnecessary middle ware that has up to now impeded the scaled adoption of community patient monitoring systems. It is intended to support a ‘virtual ward’ where patients in the community will remain under the care of a hospital’s experienced respiratory teams in partnership with community medical teams. 

RespiraSense is a body-worn respiratory rate monitor with the advantage of superior position tracking using the European Space Agency’s Galileo satellite system. If a patient becomes unstable, the only intervention is prolonged hospitalisation and possible ventilation in an Intensive Care Unit. Time to intervene is critical in preventing such escalations of care that are currently placing a huge strain on healthcare systems once again in Europe. 

In a clinical trial in Beaumont hospital earlier this year, RespiraSense was implemented in the hospital Covid-19 ward. It demonstrated an ability to identify which patients would experience respiratory failure 12 hours earlier than the standard of care. Piloting this innovation in the community as an easy to use and seamless telemetry solution will help prioritise resources and support clinical decision-making processes. 

Beaumont Hospital will be the clinical lead for the design of this solution. RespiraSense plans to be able to send critical patient physiological data direct from the wearable device, including patient position using the European Space Agency’s Galileo Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS), to healthcare providers so the right patients get the right care at the right time. 

In both cases the technologies will be trialed in a number of other member states, including Italy and Ireland.

Both of these activities are being supported through the Irish Government’s investment in ESA programme in advanced communications satellite technologies and systems (ARTES).

Topics: Press Release, Respiratory Monitoring, COVID-19

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