The Components of Patient Monitoring Systems

Doctor examining patient monitoring system
Doctor examining patient monitoring system

The medical device industry continues to pioneer and improve patient outcomes all over the world. One area of growth centers on patient monitoring systems. Remote patient monitoring systems allow for medical professionals to monitor a patient outside of a hospital or medical clinic. The demand for these types of medical equipment patient monitors was growing before the COVID-19 global pandemic, but as the public health crisis unfolded, the ability to deliver care when medical professionals could not safely be near their patients became critical. Knowing and understanding the components of patient monitoring systems can help the medical device industry to innovate and advance.

What is a Patient Monitoring System?

A patient monitoring system is a set of systems and/or processes that enable medical professionals to monitor a patient’s health. These systems are often used for remote patient monitoring and are also referred to as remote physiologic monitoring. They use digital technologies to capture and monitor health data from patients and transmit it electronically to health care providers to aid in assessing, diagnosing, and ultimately treating health conditions. This technology is revolutionizing the way health care is delivered in the United States by reducing costs and improving outcomes for patients.

Applications of Patient Monitoring Systems

It is easier to define patient monitoring systems in the context of their applications. One well-known example of a patient monitoring system is an electrocardiography (ECG) which monitors electrical activity of the heart. Patients who experience hypertension use monitoring systems to measure their blood pressure. Diabetes patients use glucose monitoring devices to measure blood glucose levels and prevent dangerous complications. Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, and other respiratory diseases rely on monitoring systems to keep an eye on their conditions too.

Components of a Patient Monitoring System

Each device is different, but patient monitoring systems have three general components:

Patient monitoring device: While this term can also refer to the system in its entirety, more specifically it is the part of the device that comes in contact with or is inserted into the patient. It usually includes a sensor that digitizes the information and a processing device that collects the data and prepares it for analysis.

User access portal: The data collected by the patient monitoring device would be useless if it can’t be viewed. As the patient monitoring device collects patient health data it is sent to either a local data collection device, or a remote cloud, to be compiled into useful information to be used by health care professionals. In the case of local user access, it usually consists of a complex interconnect system with connectors, wire harnesses, printed circuit boards (PCB), and an LCD screen where the data can be viewed. With a cloud-based system the user interface is normally accessed using a PC or laptop.

Software: Both the patient monitoring device and user access portals utilize software. While the device hardware is extremely important, the software is what translates the information so it can be understood and used by medical professionals.

The popularity of patient monitoring systems is unlikely to slow. In recent years we’ve seen more medical devices seeking patents.. It is fair to say that they are here to stay and will continue to grow as an integral part of the medical device and health care industry at large.Sterling’s expert designers bridge the gap between your vision and a viable product, with out-of-the-box medical equipment designs that turn loose ideas into life-changing innovations. Our medical device designs are guided by clients’ goals and the intended use of the product, the end-users’ needs, the adherence to specifications and requirements, and the mitigation of risks. From user interface design, workflow, and CAD mock-ups to the creation of 3D printed prototypes, our multifaceted medical equipment design services ensure your medical device meets clinical, commercial, and technological objectives while adhering to strict regulatory requirements. To discuss how we can help you with your patient monitoring systems, please contact us today.

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