By J Barton / mHealthWatch
In the pantheon of diseases, ebola is a particularly tricky adversary. It’s one of the most lethal — and it’s one that can turn even casual contact into a death sentence.
That’s why many are hoping a new project, wherein Scripps Translational Science Institute will lead a consortium of four partners to develop a program to improve health outcomes for Ebola patients, could “increase the safety of health care workers, and reduce the risk of spreading the virus to others.”
The program is called STAMP2, an acronym for “Sensor Technology and Analytics to Monitor, Predict and Protect Ebola Patients.”
The program will test a new “precision medicine” approach using wearable, wireless health sensors. The wireless vital signs monitoring platform and advanced analytics technology will monitor and analyze multiple vital signs of patients either suspected or confirmed to be infected with Ebola.
“STAMP2 represents a potential solution to current shortcomings in the management of Ebola patients by targeting an opportunity for earlier interventions and minimizing spread of the virus,” noted Scripps in a recent release to the media. “The existing approach for monitoring patients suspected of an infection detects the infection only after a patient has become contagious and the virus has the opportunity to spread. Continuous monitoring of multiple vital signs, coupled with sophisticated, personalized data analytics, can lead to much earlier warning and with it, earlier intervention.”
In addition, the technology could assist healthcare providers in monitoring the multiple vital signals necessary to immediately detect changes in an Ebola patient’s health status.
“The new approach will provide unprecedented visibility into a patient’s physiology that we believe will be invaluable in improving care in minimizing risk of exposure during an Ebola virus outbreak,” said Steven Steinhubl, MD, director of digital medicine at Scripps Health. “This will open the door to being able to identify warning signs very early on, when potentially lifesaving care can be provided.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the 2014 Ebola epidemic is the largest such outbreak in history, affecting multiple countries in West Africa, with more than 13,000 confirmed cases and more than 9,000 deaths.
Other partners in the new program are wireless vital signs monitor developer Sotera Wireless, Inc., wireless health sensor developer Rhythm Diagnostic Systems, and personalized predictive analytics technology company PhysIQ.