Continuous monitoring of vital signs during hydrotherapy

We decided to test the HealthPatch in the swimming pool ourselves.

Tom van de Belt

Assistant Professor Digital Health

Measuring vital signs such as heart rate, temperature, blood pressure and blood oxygen saturation is crucial to determine a person’s state of health. At the Radboudumc, critical care patients are monitored continuously, for instance on our Intensive Care Unit. On the general ward, patients are usually monitored intermittently, which is performed by nurses. Monitoring is not only important to detect clinical deterioration, but also to measure progress.

Nowadays’ technology such as the Vital Connect Health Patch allows easy wireless monitoring of vital signs with a simple patch. At the Radboudumc, we have evaluated the HealthPatch with many different patient groups (e.g. diabetics) and their healthcare professionals. The experiences were predominantly positive, as it is expected that they can improve the quality and efficiency of care. This is why we are also carrying out several larger scientific studies to assess whether these patches can be beneficial for processes of the outcome of care. This includes studies on the general ward, for home monitoring, during transitions, and during therapy. The latter is particularly relevant, since rehabilitation patients need to be able to safely train or practice with their therapists, but without getting hindered by large monitoring equipment and/or cables.

Since rehabilitation patients often practice in swimming pools, we decided to test this HealthPatch in the swimming pool ourselves. Not a scientific study, just a quick (and funny ;-)) test to see whether it is technically feasible to collect data during hydrotherapy. We thank Adelante Zorggroep, Hoensbroek, a large rehabilitation centerspecialised in the support and treatment of adults with an injury, a physical disorder and persons with a chronic illness, in South-Limburg, for supporting us with this test. We have summarized our experiences in a short video (in Dutch, with English subtitles):