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Self-Adhesive Sensor Predicts Worsening Heart Failure

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 11 Mar 2020
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Image: The HealthPatch MD wearable sensor used in the study (Photo courtesy of Vital Connect)
Image: The HealthPatch MD wearable sensor used in the study (Photo courtesy of Vital Connect)
Physiological telemetry from a wearable sensor can provide accurate early detection of an impending need for rehospitalization in heart failure (HF) patients.

Researchers at VA Salt Lake City Health Care System (UT, USA), the Malcom Randall VA Medical Center (Gainesville, FL, USA), and other institutions conducted a study involving 100 subjects (mean age 68.4 years, 98% male) to examine an analytical platform that monitored continuous data streams so as to predict rehospitalization after HF. Study subjects were monitored for up to three months using a disposable Vital Connect (Campbell, CA, USA) multisensor patch placed on the chest that recorded physiological data.

The data included heart rate, heart rhythm, respiratory rate, and physical activities such as walking, sleeping, and body posture for each participant were uploaded continuously via smartphone to a cloud analytics platform, where a machine learning (ML) algorithm was used to detect HF exacerbation events that were formally adjudicated. After discharge, the analytical platform derived a personalized baseline model of expected physiological values. The differences between base line model estimated vital signs and actual monitored values were then used to trigger a clinical alert.

The results revealed 35 unplanned non-trauma hospitalization events, including 24 for worsening HF events. The platform was able to detect precursors of hospitalization for HF exacerbation with 76% to 88% sensitivity and 85% specificity, with the median time between initial alert and readmission 6.5 days. A majority of the participants suffered from heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF). The study was published on February 25, 2020, in the Circulation: Heart Failure.

“In chronic heart failure, a person’s condition can get worse with shortness of breath, fatigue, and fluid buildup, to the point many end up in the emergency room and spend days in the hospital to recover,” said lead author Josef Stehlik, MD, MPH, of VA Salt Lake City Health Care System. “If we can identify patients before heart failure worsens and if doctors have the opportunity to change therapy based on this novel prediction, we could avoid or reduce hospitalizations, improve patients’ lives and greatly reduce health care costs.”

As a result of increasing healthcare costs, an increasing aging population, and demonstrated improved patient outcomes with advanced remote monitoring technologies, healthcare providers are beginning to shift eligible patients toward home care programs under remote and continuous monitoring.

Related Links:
VA Salt Lake City Health Care System
Malcom Randall VA Medical Center
Vital Connect



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