Imagine arriving at the scene of an accident. You are a trained medic but still feel stressed as there are multiple injured persons. You need to check each person and prioritize which ones need your attention the most. Checking the vital signs of all the patients is difficult, time-consuming, and requires full attention, experience, and skills. And even if you manage to check all patients, they need continuous monitoring to ensure they are stable. Weather conditions or chaotic and noisy accident scenes will make these tasks even harder.
Can you feel the stress just by reading this story? We can, and that’s why we are making LiSa.
Nordiq Products is making a robust device to help monitor patients in situations like this. We are developing a small, wearable device that uses sound and light to monitor patients' breathing, pulse, and oxygen saturation. LiSa will be your ears and eyes notifying you if the patient’s condition declines or if breathing stops.
In this project, we will combine different sensor technologies to make a more robust and reliable monitoring device than what's available on the market today. We will optimize and tune the sensors specifically for our application. Current optical sensors for vital signals monitoring are known to have a bias causing less accurate readings in darker skin types.
We will ensure that our device works well on different skin types by automatically adapting the sensor settings individually to each patient.
Sensor optimization will be the most important task in the first phase of the project. Together with our partners, Sintef, NTNU, and Inventas, we will improve the initial sensor design and then research how to combine the two sensors into one unit and develop software giving accurate readings in a challenging environment. We will work closely with Malsen Medical to ensure that our product complies with relevant standards and fulfills all requirements for being approved as a medical product.
Monitoring a patient’s vital signs is critical to preventing trauma-related deaths. Unconscious patients may stop breathing without anyone noticing if they are not continuously monitored. Monitoring vital signs in trauma situations is a complex task as it is manual, time-consuming, and requires full attention, experience, and skills. Consequently, vital signs monitoring is often inaccurate, preventing the detection of physiological changes that precede cardiac arrest and unexpected deaths. The challenge for first responders, i.e., firefighters, civilian protection, red cross and rescue boats, and pre-hospital emergency medical services (EMS) such as ambulances and air ambulances are: 1) triage in mass casualty accidents and early detection of critical conditions, 2) continuous manual monitoring of casualties with weak heart rate and unstable breathing is complex, very resource-intense, and often deprioritized for other acute tasks, 3) measurements of heart rate and blood oxygen saturation (SpO2) with photoplethysmogram (PPG) sensors have a response time of up to 4 min. and can be affected by skin properties, and 4) multi-monitors to measure all vital signs are bulky and remain in ambulances.
Our aim within LiSa is to research and develop a new robust and ultra-portable vital signs multi-monitor, ‘Life Saver’ (LiSa), that can easily and quickly be attached to a patient’s neck by first responders. Signals from novel acoustic and optical sensors are processed to present real-time monitoring of changes in SpO2, respiration rate, airway patency, and pulse rate. We use a novel method to calibrate signals from our unique optical sensor toward skin properties. Moreover, the combination of two sensors is novel and will increase accuracy by up to 97% while adding resistance to motion and noise. This innovation will result from the collaboration between Nordiq Products and R&D suppliers NTNU, Sintef, Inventas, Malsen Medical, Forsvarets Sanitet, and RAKOS.