A vital signs monitor can be found at any hospital or clinic, and many firehouses have them as well. Nowadays, blood pressure monitors can be found in most major grocery stores. A vital sign monitor takes blood pressure, pulse rate, temperature and SpO2 ratios. But as technology improves, so does the ability to retrieve and store information from patients.
Vital Signs and More
The four standard vital signs are body temperature, pulse rate, respiratory rate and blood pressure. However, some use pain, oxygen saturation and pupil size as criteria of a fifth vital sign. There is no sixth vital sign, but some organizations do require other stats to be taken or observed during the process of vital sign retrieval. Some of these may include urinary continence, shortness of breath, and glucose levels.
Although there are vital sign monitors that do much of the work for the med tech, it is still a good idea to know how to take these readings manually. Saginaw Valley State University expresses the importance of knowing how to take these readings on an individual basis. The Veterans Administration sends veterans home with a small, portable vital signs monitor.
Changes in Technology
Vital signs monitors come in all sizes and price ranges, and they will continue to do so. Medical News Today reported that Scanadu had generated more than $10 million for their new self-monitoring Scout. This handy little device will take your temperature, blood pressure, test your oximetry, acts as an ECG and can determine your stress levels—all within just 10 seconds. And, as it turns out, there's an app for that. By using Bluetooth technology, all your information can be stored and sent to your private physician.
Many newer devices are using wireless technology to keep track of patients and their information. Many models showcase the ability to connect to internal networks at hospitals. The vital signs monitor continuously checks that the information it is being gathered from the correct patient.
With the additional functions offered by emerging vital signs technology, transmitting and monitoring patient information is becoming easier and more accurate than ever before.