Wednesday 22 May 2024

Local technology offers glimpse into the future of healthcare

A new suite of products offering exciting possibilities for home healthcare will be unveiled by Maltese company ioLabs Ltd, in partnership with a Silicon Valley based start-up, during the MedTech World Summit being held in Malta next week.

These products monitor patients’ vital signs and activity providing real-time data so that falls and cardiorespiratory issues can be picked up almost immediately, leading to a significant improvement in the quality of care.

Prof. Kristian Zarb Adami, ioLabs founder and CEO, said trials using these devices were carried out over the past few months, in collaboration with the Ministry for Active Ageing, to validate and test the technology’s efficiency in non-contact monitoring of vital signs, real-time data access, and integration with mobile platforms.

“The early results from the trials carried out through the ministry’s support offer a glimpse into the future of healthcare. This technology promises to become an essential aid to the nursing and caring profession and represents the company’s vision of making quality healthcare accessible, personalised, and prompt for everyone.”

Prof Zarb Adami, who will be sharing these findings during the MedTech summit being held in Valletta between October 19-20, said the aim of these trials was to familiarise healthcare professionals and relatives with real-time data access to patients’’vital signs, enabling them to make informed decisions promptly, facilitating early intervention and leading to better patient management.

Over the next few months, ioCare, part of ioLabs, will start the process of installing these devices in residential homes to reduce the need for in-person visits, in turn easing the load of healthcare delivery and allowing professionals to spend more quality time with more patients..

ioCare will also collect daily activity data, including walking and sleep patterns, which will eventually allow for the early diagnosis and trajectory of ageing diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. It will also help identify cardiorespiratory issues such as sleep apnoea, asthma and heart arrhythmia.

One of the main goals of ioCare is the fast detection of health and activity anomalies, such as falls. The data collected allows for a more personalised approach to healthcare, with tailored treatment and intervention plans. The contactless feature of the technology means certain patients can be monitored comfortably in their homes, without the need for wearables or cables attached to the patient.

Prof. Zarb Adami said this capacity for contactless, real-time health monitoring, and its potential to make healthcare more accessible and personalised promised to be an important step in personalising healthcare and bringing it closer to home. Its integration capabilities with mobile platforms and AI promise a future where healthcare is more proactive and patient-centered.

“Given the successful trends emerging from the trials, we plan to demonstrate this technology at the Consumer Electronic Show in Las Vegas and making it available to the public in the first quarter of 2024. This will allow individuals to monitor the health of their elderly parents or loved ones living alone, empowering them to ensure their family’s wellbeing,” he said.

Apart from its collaboration with the Ministry for Active Ageing, ioLabs is also partnering with Silicon Valley based start-up Threshold-Care, and University College London hospitals. These partnerships are pivotal in validating the capabilities of its devices and exploring new horizons in remote healthcare.

Jacob Loader, CEO of Threshold Care said: “Early results indicate a significant potential for preventive healthcare, with the ability to identify health concerns before they become critical.”