Wireless sensor-based program aims to stem Ebola

Wearable, wireless health sensors, advanced analytics tools and a vital signs monitoring system are part of a new approach in treating patients who may have, or are infected, with the Ebola virus.

Mobile technology is the cornerstone of a new program called STAMP2--an acronym for Sensor Technology and Analytics to Monitor, Predict and Protect Ebola Patients--being led by the Scripps Translational Science Institute and three partners. The consortium aims to improve health outcomes, reduce the risk of the virus from spreading and increase the safety of healthcare workers involved with Ebola patients.

"The new approach will provide unprecedented visibility into a patient's physiology that we believe will be invaluable in improving care in minimizing risk of exposure during an Ebola virus outbreak," Steven Steinhubl, M.D., director of digital medicine at Scripps Health, said in an announcement. "This will open the door to being able to identify warning signs very early on, when potentially lifesaving care can be provided."

The three partners are wireless vital signs monitor developer Sotera Wireless, Inc., wireless health sensor developer Rhythm Diagnostic Systems, and personalized predictive analytics technology company PhysIQ.

The program illustrates how wearables and sensors are taking deeper root within healthcare. A recent Soreon Research report predicts wearable sensor technologies will see tremendous growth from today's $2 billion industry to becoming a $41 billion market by 2020. The program also will provide needed validation of such technologies, an issue Steinhubl has stated needs to be addressed. As FierceMobileHealthcare reported in late 2014, the cardiologist believes that while wearable sensors pose tremendous possibilities for personalized care, proven results must first be achieved.

The STAMP2 program has been nominated for a grant from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), which is tied to a program called Fighting Ebola: A Grand Challenge for Development directed by USAID, the White House Office of Science and Technology, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Department of Defense and field experts

Program leaders say STAMP2 will spur earlier intervention and minimize virus spread via continuous monitoring of multiple vital signs. Last year's Ebola epidemic has been deemed the largest virus outbreak in history, with more than 13,000 confirmed cases and more than 9,000 deaths.

For more information:
- read the announcement

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