Staff at emergency rooms at hospitals will soon be able to monitor and reach patients in time thanks to scientists who have developed a novel integrated wireless system that monitors patients’ vital signs and alerts the doctors at the time of danger. Dorothy Curtis and colleagues at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, have developed this unique device called as the Scalable Medical Alert Response Technology (SMART), which may prove to be a boon for doctors to monitor otherwise unattended patients. This device consists of an infrared blood oxygen sensor that clips onto a finger, and chest electrodes that monitor heartbeat, reports the New Scientist. Both electrodes and sensor are attached to a PDA that is assembled in a belt pack and runs software that monitors their readings, and triggers the alarm if they change to a worrying extent. SMART also sends the data to a PC monitored by a paramedic. The device was tested on 145 volunteers in the ER at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, SMART was able to alert about three patients who were stable when admitted but later developed dangerously irregular heartbeats.

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