Innovation in routine patient monitoring

Studio 1 Labs, a global leader in fabric sensing technology, developed an intelligent bed sheet that monitors vital signs of hospital patients, without the use of attachments to the body. The bed sheet detects respiratory patterns and transmits the data wirelessly to a computer terminal, automating routine patient monitoring for healthcare workers. And with advanced data accuracy and analytics, this technology can predict the onset of health decline and emergencies like apnea, heart attack and stroke.

Studio 1 Labs came to Research & Innovation to obtain help to increase functionality and aesthetics to the user interface.  The Digital Media & Web Solutions team developed an intuitive, aesthetically pleasing user interface for the fabric-sensing technology, which is viewable either by monitor or remotely through a centralized system capable of following multiple patients. The research team also developed interface programming that incorporated various levels of secure access for doctors, nurses and even family members.

While wearable fabric sensing technology has already been gaining ground, Studio 1’s device is a patented method of creating sensors with the ability to “measure variability of pressure and vibration, even when the form factor changes, such as when bent,” says co-founder and managing director Edward Shim.

Hand-made in Canada, the smart bed sheet is unique in that it is concentrated on the depth of pressure for each sensing point. It can alert staff if a patient is at risk for developing pressure ulcers, if a patient is struggling to get on or off the bed, or, most importantly, if someone is in respiratory distress. 

Niagara College’s work, and thanks to support received through the Southern Ontario Network for Advanced Manufacturing Innovation (SONAMI), a Niagara-College-led consortium funded by the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), has allowed Studio 1 Labs to bring their product closer to commercialization, says Shim.

Successful missions to Taiwan supported by the Canadian Digital Media Network and the Taipei City Government attracted the attention of the Prime Minister of Taiwan and the Taipei City Mayor, notes Shim. The company also won the Top Startup Award at TRANS Healthcare Conference 2018 in Taipei, hosted by the YongLin Healthcare Foundation, one of the largest innovative entrepreneurship symposiums in biomedical and healthcare.

This led to discussions for development, along with sales and distribution channels, with the world’s largest electronics manufacturers. Shim predicts Studio 1 Labs will have its first commercial products ready for Beta testing by Q2 2019.

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