Get help in a heartbeat
Dublin, Ireland
Friday, October 29, 2010

CARDIAC MONITORS: HOLTER MONITORS have been used since the early 1960s to monitor heart activity and, while they are effective, they are cumbersome to wear. Patients also have to visit their hospital or GP to return the device at the end of the monitoring period.

New to the market is the V-Patch, a discreet cardiac arrhythmia detection device that uses the cellular network to transmit data directly to the hospital or GP in real time. When the monitoring period is over, the patient can throw away the adhesive patch securing the monitor and return the rest of the device by post.

The patch was developed by Intelesens, which is at the leading edge of non-invasive vital signs monitor development, using both cellular and wireless technology. The enabling software is the work of Valentia Technologies, which specialises in developing healthcare software for in-community health and social services delivery.

Co-operation between Valentia Technologies in Dublin and Intelesens in Belfast has enabled the V-patch to be deployed in a clinical setting for the first time.

“Ours is an excellent partnership which has produced a pioneering end-to-end solution for in-community connected healthcare,” says David Burrows, Valentia’s business development manager. “We have linked up with the cardiac unit in Tallaght Hospital to take things forward and are also very excited by the possibilities of extending this technology into other areas such as weight, blood pressure and chronic disease monitoring. The system can also be linked into existing alert systems ...such as emergency pendants worn by older people.”

The V-Patch “can recognise 10 different heart arrhythmias and immediately send this information directly to the clinician,” says Michael Caulfield, the chief executive of Intelesens, which is a spin-off from the University of Ulster.

“This can result in much faster treatment, often allowing easier preventative steps instead of the distress of more invasive procedures later on,” he says. “V-Patch... reduces the need for in-patient monitoring, which is also advantageous for today’s healthcare providers for whom it is all about doing more with less.”