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BACKGROUND: Timely recognition of the deteriorating inpatient remains challenging. Wearable monitoring systems (WMS) may augment current monitoring practices. However, there are many barriers to implementation in the hospital environment, and evidence describing the clinical impact of WMS on deterioration detection and patient outcome remains unclear. OBJECTIVE: To assess the impact of vital-sign monitoring on detection of deterioration and related clinical outcomes in hospitalised patients using WMS, in comparison with standard care. METHODS: A systematic search was conducted in August 2020 using MEDLINE, Embase, CINAHL, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, CENTRAL, Health Technology Assessment databases and grey literature. Studies comparing the use of WMS against standard care for deterioration detection and related clinical outcomes in hospitalised patients were included. Deterioration related outcomes (primary) included unplanned intensive care admissions, rapid response team or cardiac arrest activation, total and major complications rate. Other clinical outcomes (secondary) included in-hospital mortality and hospital length of stay. Exploratory outcomes included alerting system parameters and clinical trial registry information. RESULTS: Of 8706 citations, 10 studies with different designs met the inclusion criteria, of which 7 were included in the meta-analyses. Overall study quality was moderate. The meta-analysis indicated that the WMS, when compared with standard care, was not associated with significant reductions in intensive care transfers (risk ratio, RR 0.87; 95% confidence interval, CI 0.66-1.15), rapid response or cardiac arrest team activation (RR 0.84; 95% CI 0.69-1.01), total (RR 0.77; 95% CI 0.44-1.32) and major (RR 0.55; 95% CI 0.24-1.30) complications prevalence. There was also no statistically significant association with reduced mortality (RR 0.48; 95% CI 0.18-1.29) and hospital length of stay (mean difference, MD - 0.09; 95% CI - 0.43 to 0.44). CONCLUSION: This systematic review indicates that there is no current evidence that implementation of WMS impacts early deterioration detection and associated clinical outcomes, as differing design/quality of available studies and diversity of outcome measures make it difficult to reach a definite conclusion. Our narrative findings suggested that alarms should be adjusted to minimise false alarms and promote rapid clinical action in response to deterioration. PROSPERO Registration number: CRD42020188633 .

Original publication




Journal article


Crit Care

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Clinical outcomes, Deterioration detection, Hospital, ICU transfer, Vital signs, Wearable monitoring, Wearables