Oxehealth Extract And Measure Five Vital Signs From Digital Video Cameras

Oxehealth Extract And Measure Five Vital Signs From Digital Cameras
Monitoring of vital signs is key in many healthcare settings in order to identify changes in a condition, recognizing early clinical deterioration, or even protection from certain therapeutic errors. As both diseases and therapies become more complex, prompt detection and reporting of changes of vital signs are essential to initiate appropriate treatment and ultimately better health outcomes. However, this require extensive resources, and finding new solutions that can make the process of monitoring vital signs more efficient is top priority.

The startup Oxehealth has developed a software that is able to extract human vital signs from digital video cameras. The software applies a set of algorithms to real-time video footage from standard cameras to monitor movement and measure five vital signs. Breathing and heart rate is tracked to detect any significant variations; temperature is monitored, particularly to help identify signs of sepsis; blood oxygenation is tracked to identify any major de-saturations; and blood pressure to identify any hypotensive episodes. The technology also works in the dark by using infra-red illumination, making sure that patients can sleep undisturbed. The data is processed inside the camera unit, and the vital signs are then transmitted to electronic patient record systems. If there are changes in a patient's health, an alarm is generated for doctors to respond promptly.

The technology has wide application and has been in trials in several settings. In hospitals, the software can provide automated vital sign monitoring, giving patients more freedom to move, while reducing resources needed from staff. The technology has also had successful trials in mental health hospitals and secure rooms, where detainees are at high risk of self-harm, attempt of suicide, and rapid deterioration of physical health. In addition, the solution could also be used in the home to provide hospital standard vital sign data, allowing healthcare providers to react quickly and effectively to changes in patient health.

Although applicable in multiple settings, its potential is probably biggest in hospital settings, where it can give immediate alerts to changes in patients’ health and reduce the need for contact devices that restrict patient movement and health outcomes. Periodic observations by healthcare workers can often provide inaccurate data, or even miss data that could potentially save someone’s life. OxeHealth provide a powerful low-cost tool to solve this major problem, make it easier to track long-term health, and provide immediate alerts about sudden changes in patient health. This increase efficiency by highlighting which patients need immediate care, ultimately reducing overall health costs.

The technology could also have a bright future in telehealth, one of the fastest growing industries in the world, providing a more accurate online consultation. Or in emergency waiting rooms, identifying patients that need immediate care. The applicability of the software is endless, proving its huge potential. However, it comes with major security and privacy issues that need careful considerations. In fact, the technology require surveillance that might not even be legal in some countries, and some patients might even find it uncomfortable.

Founded by Professor Lionel Tarassenko, Oxehealth is a joint spinout from the University of Oxford and Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust, and nominated for Technology Innovator of the Year at the HealthInvestor Awards 2016. Investors of the startup include IP Group Plc, and they have also been awarded funding from Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency.