Hospital tests new patient sensor system
Governor lauds new technology
Governor Deval Patrick used the unveiling of a new rapid response motion sensor system at MetroWest Medical Center in Framingham Tuesday to tout the state’s success in marrying technology advances, improved patient care, and job creation.
The EarlySense system - developed by an Israeli company currently establishing a United States headquarters in Waltham - uses motion sensors placed underneath hospital beds to track patients’ vital signs, such as heart and respiratory rates, and provide caregivers with data-driven graphs and charts to enhance preventative care.
The motion-sensing system is an upgrade from the current vital sign checking model, with nurse visitations every four hours, and will save money by catching more medical problems and keeping patients out of intensive care units, which require a higher operating cost, health officials said.
Before the governor and multiple other medical industry leaders and legislators wielded scissors to cut the ribbon surrounding a hospital bed equipped with the new system, Patrick outlined his success in persuading EarlySense Inc. to move to Massachusetts.
“The things we’re celebrating today are not only a more successful and more complete and more affordable system, but also how to bring entrepreneurs [here] whose business is helping us get to that destination,’’ Patrick said. “This is part of a combined, comprehensive strategy.’’
Patrick said his trip to Israel in March to meet with business leaders in the technology field feeds into the state’s positive economic position.
“The unemployment rate [in Massachusetts] is coming down, and is well below the national rate - there is more distance to travel, but we’re making progress,’’ he said.
Patrick also pointed out that the state’s bond rating has remained steady.
“We have a positive fiscal outlook,’’ he said. “This is not by accident. It’s because we get up and get out, and we go and meet the people to whom we have a strong case to make about growing opportunities here.’’
Patrick said the high-quality universities in Massachusetts, both public and private, contribute favorable conditions in research and educated employees to growing businesses.
“We have something here to offer - a well-educated workforce, a concentration of brainpower, an entrepreneurial tradition, a vibrant venture capitalist community, and a will in the administration and Legislature and beyond to leave things better for those who come behind us,’’ Patrick said. “This is where we are and where we’re going.’’
EarlySense chief executive Avner Halperin said his company expects to hire 10 employees in Massachusetts by the end of the year, and 10 to 20 more employees annually thereafter, depending on business growth.
“We heard about the different opportunities for medical device companies here in Massachusetts, which is very important for us,’’ Halperin said. “The other thing important to us is the high quality of medical institutions here in Massachusetts. They are second to none.’’
MetroWest Medical Center invested in about 30 EarlySense units, which will be tested in one floor of medical/surgical hospital beds, said EarlySense vice president of sales and marketing Ram Liebenthal.
Liebenthal said he did not wish to disclose the cost of the EarlySense units, as they are still in the trial phase with MetroWest Medical.
State Senator Karen Spilka, an Ashland Democrat, said the hospital’s adoption of the technology speaks to the advancing scientific strides being made in Framingham and the MetroWest area.
“The MetroWest is seen as a leader in life sciences, health care delivery, technology, and innovation,’’ she said.