Designing the sensor so it does not have to be in contact with the patient's body eliminates a lot of staff work in setting up the monitors and gives patients greater comfort and freedom of movement, he said. And unlike with sensors that attach to the patient, hospital staffers don't have to worry about the monitor falling off. That means fewer false alarms and hence less alarm fatigue, a major concern for safety experts. The Joint Commission named alarm fatigue as one of its top issues for 2014.
The EarlySense system allows for personalization of detection and prediction of patient-safety and medical problems. It can be tailored for each patient based on movement history, allowing staff to get to patients' bedside before they try to get up from their bed.
It alerts nurses via large screens at the unit's central display station as well as on handheld devices. And it documents individual and team response times, serving as a management and quality assurance tool.
EarlySense's monitors are used by some hospitals in several big systems including Partners HealthCare, Dignity Healthcare and the Veterans Affairs Department.
The firm reported a 100% leap in revenue from 2013 to 2014. It also recently received a $20 million round of funding, led by Samsung's venture capital arm.
The system has shown some impressive early results. A March 2014 article in the American Journal of Medicine comparing results for 7,643 patients using the monitors in the California Hospital Medical Center's medical-surgical unit in Los Angeles with a control group of 5,329 patients found significant reductions in days spent in the ICU following a transfer, as well as in overall length of stay and code blue rates.
Gladys Castro, a nurse manager at California Hospital Medical Center, credits the EarlySense system for significant reductions in the hospital's rates of patient falls and pressure ulcers. When she started working at the hospital, there was an average of eight to 11 patient falls a month, she said. In the last monthly staff meeting, only four falls were reported.