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Intelligent Mattress

The use of contactless technology to monitor the deteriorating patient.

ID2: Design the Solution

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Executive Summary

The care of acutely ill and deteriorating patients has been highlighted a national need (Nice Clinical Guideline 50). The regular monitoring of patient condition enables clinicians to make informed decisions about patient treatment. The Intelligent Mattress has been identified as a clinical unmet need. The mattress solution is currently at prototype stage and can monitor vital signs such as ECG (Cardiac Monitoring), Heart and Respiratory rate through the use of cutting edge contact less technology. The contact less nature of the solution enables the device to provide passive monitoring while the patient is lying on the bed. This becomes critically important for non complaint / confused patients where applying monitoring devices can become very difficult for Paramedics and Clinicians.

Quick Detail

Innovation Owner:
Robert Chesters
Development stage:
ID2: Design the Solution

Project Detail

The Unmet Need

Engagement events have taken place since 2010 when the innovation was first articulated by South West Ambulance as a need.  The latest engagement event took place in December 2012 and focused on definition of functionality in different sectors. These events have been pivotal to the development of a new solution and have provided a unique opportunity to test out new concepts and ideas. The need for contact less vital signs monitoring is also supported by NICE and RCN guidance and recommendations.

NICE 2007 – Acutely ill Patients in Hospital – Guidance

As a minimum, the following physiological observations should be recorded at the initial assessment and as part of routine monitoring:

  • Heart rate.
  • Respiratory rate.
  • Systolic blood pressure.
  • Level of consciousness.
  • Oxygen saturation.
  • Temperature.

NICE Guidance (2007) recommended that some form of EWS should be used to monitor all adult patients in acute hospital settings. Physiological track and trigger systems should also be used to monitor all adult patients in acute hospital settings.

RCN Report:- The recognition and management of deteriorating patients in acute hospitals

  • Hospitalised patients may be at risk of clinical deterioration.
  • Catastrophic events such as cardiopulmonary arrest are often preceded by abnormalities in vital signs.
  • Deterioration may not recognised or acted upon by hospital staff, resulting in adverse outcomes (NPSA, 2007). Early warning scoring systems (EWS) aim to ensure timely recognition of deteriorating patients.

This ongoing programme aims to help clinicians monitor the deteriorating patient effectively in a non-invasive way.  The innovation has potential from Ambulance Trusts, Acute Trust, Care Homes, dental practices and more.  

Proposed Solution


A mattress that can be used in everyday situations to monitor patients has been developed with support from the NIC. The mattress is a combination of 2 technologies which can monitor Heart Rate, ECG and Respiration simply by lying on the mattress. The prototype has been developed with technologies developed by Plessey Semiconductors (See: http://www.plesseysemiconductors.com) and Hoana Medical (See: http://www.hoana.com)

Intended benefits

  • Rapid display of patient vital signs, no removal of clothing and maintenance of dignity.
  • Reduction of stress to patient – they don’t feel wired up.
  • Improved decision making – because more accurate data is available eg weight, identification of deterioration pre-cursers.
  • Improved safety of patient due to removal of trailing leads – trip hazard.

Key Facts


  • Clinical outcomes
  • Patient safety
  • Service efficiency/productivity

Healthcare Areas

  • Primary Care
  • Acute Care
  • Social Care

Health Problems

  • Cardiovascular (inc Stroke)
  • Trauma and Orthopaedics
  • Respiratory


  • Domestic