Up to 30% of hospitalised patients experience severe complications that increase their risk of permanent injury and death – and the majority of these complications occur in general wards. Severe physiological deviations in oxygen saturation, pulse or blood pressure occur in more than half of patients after major surgery or admittance to hospital – and standard clinical practice fails to detect these deviations in over 90% of cases.
The Inspiration Behind the Innovation
Danish hospitals use a system based on the National Early Warning System (NEWS), which was introduced in the UK in 2012 by the Royal College of Physicians to standardise patient monitoring and related responses in general wards. The system allocates a score to six physiological parameters (i.e. pulse rate, blood pressure, oxygen saturation, respiration rate, level of consciousness and oxygen supplementation), which reflects the patient’s degree of deterioration. For stable patients, the recommended monitoring frequency is every 8–12 hours. This has failed to improve outcomes due to a lack of evidence-based alert thresholds and long periods without observation.
WARD-CSS (Wireless Assessment of Respiratory and circulatory Distress Clinical Support System) uses CE-marked wireless sensors, which are placed on patients and connected to a mobile device, to continuously collect vital-sign data. The data is sent to a secure server where AI performs a real-time analysis to assess complication risks. When an increased risk is detected, WARD-CSS alerts the responsible clinician via their smartphone – so they can act swiftly to reduce complications and improve outcomes. Equally important is the ability to present real-time data on staff members' smartphones to notify them when a patient is stable, thereby freeing up resources for other tasks.
WARD-CSS outperforms NEWS-based monitoring by detecting many more deviations while removing clinically irrelevant alerts. The technology behind WARD-CSS minimises false alerts, saving clinicians approximately 10 minutes per patient per day while enabling automated 24/7 vital-sign monitoring. This empowers clinicians to provide a better standard of care, and frees them up to perform other essential tasks. Simple threshold-based continuous monitoring generates 200+ daily alerts per patient, 90% of which are deemed 'irrelevant' by staff, while WARD generates an average of 4 alerts per patient per day.
The solution has been tested in more than 10 departments at 4 major Danish hospitals where nurses have voiced a high clinical need to replace current manual monitoring procedures. Patients say that WARD-CSS has made them feel safer because they’re never left unobserved. A broader rollout of the solution could yield significant cost-savings by reducing the severity of complications and the length of hospital stays while supporting more effective utilisation of clinical staff.
The solution is being tested in dedicated expert centers throughout Europe and the US, including the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio.
Eske Kvanner Aasvang: MD, Professor; Department of Anesthesiology, Rigshospitalet
Christian S. Meyhoff: MD, Professor; Department of Anesthesia and Intensive Care, Bispebjerg & Frederiksberg Hospitals
Katja Grønbæk: MD, Head of Clinical; WARD 24/7 ApS
Betina Langemark: CEO; WARD 24/7 ApS
Jelle Reichert: CTO; WARD 24/7 ApS
Lisa Schrader: MD, Project Leader; WARD project
Pernille Wigell: RN, Clinical Assistant; WARD 24/7 ApS