Published: 13th May 2020
Bengaluru start-up's wearable device will reduce nurses' exposure to COVID-19 patients by taking their vitals remotely
Cardiac Design Labs' Telemetric Patient Monitoring System can check on multiple patients simultaneously, from a remote location. This will limit exposure inside wards
With the increasing number of COVID-19 cases across the country, more people are being quarantined or isolated every day. This has made the large number of healthcare workers, working in these hospitals, vulnerable to the Coronavirus. Among them, the most vulnerable are the nurses who monitor patients in the isolation wards. Bengaluru start-up Cardiac Design Labs has developed a system to reduce exposure to the patients.
The Telemetric Patient Monitoring System (TPMS) is a wireless, wearable device (weighing 70 grams) that can be connected to a central system for monitoring the patients remotely. "In a traditional setup, monitoring systems are placed beside patients' beds and the nurses have to enter the wards quite frequently to monitor them. This increases their risk of exposure to the virus. The TPMS can be monitored from a system placed outside the ward, limiting the nurses' entry," says Anand Madanagopal, Founder and CEO, Cardiac Design Labs. The device can perform an ECG, SpO2, check the blood pressure, respiration and body temperature of a patient. The data gets recorded in the system automatically.
The device has been in research and development since November 2019 but production was accelerated after COVID-19, says Anand. A few hundred devices have already been built and will be dispatched in May to hospitals in Bengaluru and beyond. "There aren't enough nurses and this device will ease their load as the number of cases increases," he adds.
Anand Madanagopal, Founder and CEO
How accurate is the reading, though? "The ECG component in the device uses the same mechanism as our Holter monitors, which have been in the market for a while and has been used on hundreds of patients. The other components have been taken from vendors whose tech has cleared multiple rounds of testing. The reading from the device should be as accurate as any other available monitoring device in the market," explains Anand, "The monitors are ICU-grade and have undergone several trials since January."
So how frequently does the device require human intervention? The device is powered by a AAA battery and if a patient is monitored continuously then it will last just two days. A nurse has to replace the batteries after that. However, if a patient is monitored at regular intervals, which can be programmed accordingly, then the battery will last weeks, says Anand. The electrodes attached to the patient's body also has to be changed every two days.
Making a mark in healthcare was always a dream for Anand. "I wanted to work on something that creates an impact. Reading about human anatomy, physiology has always been a hobby. I thought of combining that with my experience as a systems architect at my last job. Building something in India, with India-made components was always something I wanted to do," recalls Anand. He, along with his co-founders Ajax Thomas and Praveen Murthy, founded Cardiac Design Labs in 2011.