A wireless wearable patch using Bluetooth technology has enabled clinicians to detect spikes in patients’ temperatures, helping to detect potentially dangerous changes in conditions related to infections.

The patch is being used at University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center in Cleveland. There, a study has been underway to assess patients who have had a stem cell transplant or intensive chemotherapy; these patients can develop a condition called neutropenia, a low level of neutrophils that results when white blood cells fight infections.

Consequently, it is important to closely monitor patient temperature to identify neutropenic features and begin clinical interventions sooner, says Ehsan Malek, MD, a hematologist at University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center.

The cancer center has been using the wireless patch, which continuously monitors patient temperature and can detect a rise in body temperature up to three hours earlier than traditional manual measurement by clinicians, according to a clinical abstract available here.

Patches were placed on 10 patients every 24 hours, and body temperatures recorded every 10 minutes. Readings were sent to an iPad or smartphone; a total of 14,342 temperature measurements were taken.

There were 23 episodes of temperature rise among the patients, and 21 of the episodes were identified with a median time of 140 minutes sooner than normal standards of care.

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Nine of the 10 patients found the patch easy to apply and comfortable, and eight were interested in wearing the patch for monitoring in the future.

Now, the next step is to test reliability of the patch—TempTraq from Blue Spark Technologies—in outpatient settings, according to Malek, and to have the patches integrate with the electronic health record system and other systems to store the data and permit viewing of temperatures as necessary.

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