Program Nominated to Test New Wireless Approach for Ebola Care

Scripps to lead team developing innovative technology program


Scripps Translational Science Institute will lead a consortium of four partners to develop a program to improve health outcomes for Ebola patients, increase the safety of health care workers and reduce the risk of spreading the virus to others.

The program, dubbed STAMP2, short for Sensor Technology and Analytics to Monitor, Predict and Protect Ebola Patients, will test in a new “precision medicine” approach using wearable, wireless health sensors, a wireless vital signs monitoring platform and advanced analytics technology to monitor and analyze multiple vital signs of patients either suspected or confirmed to be infected with the Ebola virus.

The program was nominated for a grant from the U.S. Agency for International Development. The grant is part of a new program called Fighting Ebola: A Grand Challenge for Development, led by USAID in collaboration with the White House Office of Science and Technology, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Department of Defense and field experts to help health care workers provide better care.

Solution to current shortcomings

STAMP2 represents a potential solution to current shortcomings in the management of Ebola patients by targeting an opportunity for earlier interventions and minimizing spread of the virus. The existing approach for monitoring patients suspected of an infection detects the infection only after a patient has become contagious and the virus has the opportunity to spread. Continuous monitoring of multiple vital signs, coupled with sophisticated, personalized data analytics, can lead to much earlier warning and with it, earlier intervention. For patients confirmed to be infected, continuous monitoring of multiple vital signals can detect important changes in health status immediately.

“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,” said Steven Steinhubl, MD, director of digital medicine at Scripps Health. “This will open the door to being able to identify warning signs very early on, when potentially lifesaving care can be provided.”

Patient data will be collected continuously and remotely using two innovative wireless monitors during the initial validation work – the ViSi Mobile System from Sotera Wireless and the MultiSense device from Rhythm Diagnostic Systems. Long-term care solutions will focus on the use of the Band Aid-like MultiSense sensor being incorporated into systems of care. In so doing, patients will be able to be monitored at all times, so that changes in their condition can be recognized sooner, and without needless exposure to health care workers.

Opportunity for earlier interventions

Data from the monitors will be transmitted wirelessly to a personalized physiology analytics (PPA) platform developed by physIQ, which will use advanced machine learning algorithms to detect subtle changes in a patient’s physiological profile over time, compared to the patient’s physiological baseline. The PPA will also provide automated analysis, actionable information and guidance to clinical staff for multiple patients simultaneously. This offers the opportunity to detect and act upon changes in a patient’s health status in real time, well before symptoms develop or conditions worsen.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the 2014 Ebola epidemic is the largest such outbreak in history, affecting multiple countries in West Africa, with more than 13,000 confirmed cases and more than 9,000 deaths. Plans to develop, validate, refine and field test the STAMP2 program are currently under way. Following the completion of these processes, it is expected that a fully functioning turnkey STAMP2 system would be made available for deployment. As currently envisioned, the system would include an appropriately scaled supply of MultiSense wireless health monitoring devices, wireless rugged computers and smartphones and tablets with specially created apps.

Joining STSI in the new program are wireless vital signs monitor developer Sotera Wireless, Inc., wireless health sensor developer Rhythm Diagnostic Systems, and personalized predictive analytics technology company PhysIQ.

Learn more about Scripps Health, a nonprofit integrated health system in San Diego, Calif.

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Stephen Carpowich
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