Birmingham Children’s Hospital’s revolutionary study aiming to improve monitoring and save lives reaches milestone | News

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Birmingham Children’s Hospital’s revolutionary study aiming to improve monitoring and save lives reaches milestone

A world-leading study at Birmingham Children’s Hospital has reached a key milestone recruiting its 1,000th patient.

Five-month-old Rayan-Ali Adris from Smethwick, who is being treated by the hospital’s expert cardiac team for aortic stenosis – a condition that narrows the heart’s aortic valve, is the 1,000th patient to take part in the RAPID study.

The pioneering RAPID (Real-Time Adaptive and Predictive Indicator of Deterioration) project, which kicked off in 2014, aims to save the lives of children and young people through a revolutionary wireless monitoring platform.

The sensors continuously collect data from patients on cardiac wards, such as heart rate, breathing rate and oxygen levels, to provide vital early warning signs of deterioration.

The project, jointly funded by a £1.8 million grant from the Wellcome Trust and Department of Health, through the Health Innovation Challenge Fund, uses hi-tech wireless sensors, designed by Isansys Lifecare, which are attached to the chest and ankle to measure vital signs processed in real-time using a platform inspired from the world of Formula 1.

Ground-breaking in its aim, the technology uses smart alarm systems, designed by mathematicians at Aston University, which will activate when the baseline levels of individual patients deteriorate alerting nurses and doctors allowing a swift response.

This means that signs normally recorded every one to four hours on paper charts could potentially become a thing of the past with continuous individual monitoring that gives more accurate information helping lead to faster treatment – saving lives and reducing hospital stays.

Mum, Neelam Bi, said:

“I’m so pleased that Rayan-Ali was able to take part in the study. I think the wireless technology is great, I can pick him up more easily and he is constantly monitored.”

The University of Birmingham is also a RAPID partner with a team providing biostatistical support and Health Economics analysis.

Dr Heather Duncan, Birmingham Children’s Hospital intensive care consultant and RAPID study lead, said:

“Recruiting the 1,000th patient is a really important milestone. We’d like to thank all of our children and families who have helped us since the launch, including Rayan-Ali. Their help is so important to the success of the project.”

“Work is continuing to progress well as we enter the final phase of this three-year study that’s aiming to revolutionise the way we monitor patients to save lives in the future.”

Keith Errey, CEO of Oxford-based Isansys, said:

“We are delighted that our Lifetouch “smart patches” and wireless patient monitoring platform have now been used to monitor more than 1,000 patients at Birmingham Children’s Hospital. We believe this is the first time that next generation wireless technology has been deployed to monitor children of all ages in hospital and in real-time. Our Patient Status Engine technology is not just enabling freedom from leads and cables, but is also providing continuous vital sign data for the development of new and powerful methods that will allow clinicians, nurses and families themselves, to provide even better care for these young and often vulnerable patients.”

RAPID follows two smaller studies, which proved the technology’s potential. Young Lives, an initial study of 3,000 children in intensive care at Birmingham Children’s Hospital, funded by the Health Foundation Shine programme, showed that cardiac arrests could be predicted using advanced analysis of their vital sign data.

A second study of 40 patients showed that the data could be captured using wireless sensors, allowing children to move around wards without getting wires tangled and pulled off.