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Vendor Profile: Sotera Wireless offers round-the-clock vital signs monitoring

By Eric Wicklund, Editor, mHIMSS
Recent studies estimate that 60 percent to 70 percent of a hospital's patients have their vital signs monitored on a "spot check" basis – that is, when a nurse or doctor is available to check them. It's a hit-or-miss method that does neither the patient nor the provider any favors.

Sotera Wireless is looking to improve that process through the development of a wireless platform that enables providers to monitor a patient's vital signs continuously, whether that patient is in the emergency room, in his or her room or even in an ambulance.

The San Diego-based company is seeking early collaborators and partners for its ViSi Mobile platform and will be showing it off at its booth in the mHealth Summit's Exhibit Hall. Officials hope to bring the technology to the market in the coming year.

"The current focus of care is incomplete," says Gunnar Trommer, the company's vice president of marketing and customer service. "A nurse may come in and check vital signs, and then for the next 4-6 hours, you don't get anything. You need to monitor the whole patient all the time."

Sotera's non-invasive, body-worn sensor system is designed to continuously capture a wide range of vital signs, including blood pressure. The company has developed a software package that's compatible with standard Windows-based operating systems. Once deployed, the system is designed to collect vital signs and transmit them to a nurse's station or mobile device.

"Wireless monitoring of blood pressure holds great promise to change the landscape, and will be particularly helpful for dealing with labile, sporadic surges in blood pressure that are currently undetected," said Eric Topol, MD, a member of Sotera's board of directors, in a testimonial provided by the company. "Furthermore, the ability to have continuous hemodynamic assessment of individuals will provide a new window for better management and hopefully, ultimately, improvement in major outcomes."

Trommer says the company will first market ViSi Mobile to hospitals, and plans to work with Qualcomm, a telecommunications provider and investor in Sotera, to develop wireless monitoring technology that extends beyond the hospital.

Trommer says ViSi Mobile will not only improve clinical outcomes, but also reduce healthcare waste and expenses by eliminating costly adverse events.

In October, Sotera was included in the initial portfolio of the West Health Investment Fund, LLC, a $100 million fund created by Gary and Mary West, co-founders of the San Diego-based West Wireless Health Institute, to provide risk capital for "companies with cutting-edge technologies and services that offer the potential to substantially lower the cost of healthcare."

Sotera can be found at Booth 403-21 in the Exhibit Hall.

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