Story image

Can wearable tech predict patient decline?

29 Jan 2016

Students from University of Otago have trialled whether wearable fitness technology can assist with health care.

The University’s Christchurch’s Summer Students tackled two research projects that assessed whether data from a wearable sports monitor could predict a patients’ decline, as well assessing a new crisis mental health service.

The annual mentoring programme allows young scientists to get experience working on health-related projects for 10 weeks between early November and January. They are supervised by some of the country’s leading researchers and clinicians.

Early detection of deteriorating patients using wearable fitness technology.

Medical student Fraser Jeffery and his supervisor intensive care specialist Professor Geoff Shaw fitted wearable sports heart rate monitors to the chests of patients recovering in the Surgical Progressive Care Unit in Christchurch Hospital. They studied heart rate variability data to see if there was a connection between ongoing heart rate variability and a deterioration of the patient’s condition.

Shaw says early results from the small-scale, preliminary study (less than a dozen patients were involved) showed heart rate variability recovers quickly in patients who are progressing well. However an improvement in variability was not clearly seen in sicker patients with more complex conditions.

He says leveraging technology developed for the sports industry could provide an inexpensive way to improve patient care. He hopes to extend this preliminary work to larger groups of hospitalised patients.

The project was sponsored by the New Zealand Federation of Graduate Women.

Samsung & Trade Me offer AI-powered shopping
The smartphone camera & AI-powered tech, Trade Me says, is a ‘glimpse into the future of shopping’.
Neill Blomkamp's 'Conviction' is a prequel to BioWare's Anthem
You may remember Neill Blomkamp’s name from such films as District 9, Chappie, and Elysium. If you’ve seen any of those films, the short teaser trailer will seem somewhat familiar to you.
Security flaw in Xiaomi electric scooters could have deadly consequences
An attacker could target a rider, and then cause the scooter to suddenly brake or accelerate.
617 million stolen records up for sale on dark web
It may not be the first time the databases have been offered for sale.
IBM’s Project Debater unable to out-debate human
At this incredible display of technology, the result was remarkably close but the human managed to pip the machine in this instance.
LPL to broadcast weekly programming on Sky Sports
Let’s Play Live (LPL) has now announced it will broadcast weekly programming for the rest of 2019 on the Sky Sports channel from Sky TV. 
When hackers get the munchies, they just steal McDonalds
What happens when hackers get the munchies? Apparently in Canada, they decide to put their ‘hamburglar’ gloves on and go after unwitting people who happen to use the McDonalds app.
The smart home tech that will be huge in 2019
For millennial home buyers, a generation for whom technology has been ever-present, smart systems are the features they value above everything else.