Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
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Wearable wireless continuous vital signs monitoring on the general ward.

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Wearable wireless sensors for continuous vital signs monitoring (CVSM) offer the potential for early identification of patient deterioration, especially in low-intensity care settings like general wards. This study aims to review advances in wearable CVSM - with a focus on the general ward - highlighting the technological characteristics of CVSM systems, user perspectives and impact on patient outcomes by exploring recent evidence.

RECENT FINDINGS: The accuracy of wearable sensors measuring vital signs exhibits variability, especially notable in ambulatory patients within hospital settings, and standard validation protocols are lacking. Usability of CMVS systems is critical for nurses and patients, highlighting the need for easy-to-use wearable sensors, and expansion of the number of measured vital signs. Current software systems lack integration with hospital IT infrastructures and workflow automation. Imperative enhancements involve nurse-friendly, less intrusive alarm strategies, and advanced decision support systems. Despite observed reductions in ICU admissions and Rapid Response Team calls, the impact on patient outcomes lacks robust statistical significance.

SUMMARY: Widespread implementation of CVSM systems on the general ward and potentially outside the hospital seems inevitable. Despite the theoretical benefits of CVSM systems in improving clinical outcomes, and supporting nursing care by optimizing clinical workflow efficiency, the demonstrated effects in clinical practice are mixed. This review highlights the existing challenges related to data quality, usability, implementation, integration, interpretation, and user perspectives, as well as the need for robust evidence to support their impact on patient outcomes, workflow and cost-effectiveness.

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