Together with four European hospitals, the UMC Utrecht will start a collaboration named ‘Nightingale’. Companies are being challenged to develop technology for remotely monitoring the vital signs of patients leaving the intensive care unit. An immediate alert to care providers in the event of a deterioration of the patient's situation can prevent serious complications and be life-saving. The European Union is setting aside €5.3 million for developing an innovative solution.

After impactful surgery, when patients are transferred to the intensive care unit, they have an increased risk of developing complications on the nursing ward or after discharge. If the patient, for example, suddenly acquires pneumonia or bleeding,  early detection is of vital importance. Wireless monitoring will enable continuous remote monitoring of the patient's condition and through personal alerts to health care providers, treatment can be started more rapidly.

Smart remote monitoring
The hospitals will challenge private companies with knowledge and experience in the field of medical sensors and complex signal analysis to develop a solution for the remote monitoring of patients' vital signs. It has to be a monitoring and communication system that connects patients to care providers, uses smart self-learning algorithms to detect initial stages of deterioration and is integrated into the various care providers' information systems. The collaboration within the Nightingale project involves not only professionals, but also patients and carers, to ensure that the technology corresponds with the patients’ capabilities and requirements.

The UMC Utrecht is starting this collaboration with the University hospital Leuven, University College London Hospitals, the Karolinska University Hospital in Stockholm and Uniklinik Aachen. The European Union has set up a new program, named ‘Precommercial Procurement’. Instead of directly subsidizing European industry in its own initiative developments, which do not always accommodate the wishes of patients and carers, a grant of €5.3 million is being allocated to hospitals with a clinical need that are looking for a solution. A tender is therefore challenging European industry to develop an innovative solution that corresponds with practice requirements. In January 2017 there will be an initial official announcement with regard to the contracting and the market will then be consulted in order to arrive at a good development description. The tender will be published in November and European industry will be invited to participate.

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