The 2017 AAMI Conference and Expo in Austin, Texas, explored opportunities and advances in healthcare technology, including continuous monitoring of patients being treated with opioid pain therapy, who may be at an increased risk of developing respiratory depression.

“Since 2014, the AAMI Foundation’s National Coalition to Promote Continuous Monitoring of Patients on Opioids has worked tirelessly to advance continuous monitoring as part of the clinical plan to prevent unnecessary deaths that result from opioid induced respiratory depression,” says Marilyn Neder Flak, executive director of AAMI, in a release. “We’ve hosted numerous educational events, published data, and supported partnerships to make healthcare providers aware of this issue and the various technologies available to help reduce preventable deaths.”

The ECRI Institute recently cited opioid administration and monitoring in acute care as one of the top safety concerns in its 2017 Patient Safety Guidelines.

“Clinical evidence from early adopters and published literature shows that continuous monitoring can reduce in-hospital unplanned morbidity, including opioid induced respiratory depression, and is well on track to become the standard of care on general care floors,” says Frank Overdyk, MD, chairman of the National Coalition and AAMI board member. “Rather than improve our response to critical events after they have occurred, continuous monitoring allows clinicians to detect patient deterioration early, and institute treatments that improve outcomes and reduce preventable harm.”

Tim O’Malley, EarlySense president, says, “As one of the founding partners of the Coalition, EarlySense is proud to support healthcare facilities in improving patient care and outcomes by providing the market’s most advanced continuous monitoring solutions.”