About the project.
Many patients suffer from severe mental problems during or after their stay in the ICU. This slows down the recovery process and has long-term effects on the patient‘s quality of life. Mental conditions experienced in the ICU can reach all the way from bad dreams and continuous discomfort to delirium and post-traumatic stress syndrome. Early recognition of signs and appropriate management are key to prevent extensive cost for the healthcare system due to effects such as increased mechanical ventilation, increased hospitalization and increased mortality.Despite its importance, mental health is not addressed sufficiently in the ICU.
The main stressors in the ICU which strongly affect the patient‘s mental condition are pain, anxiety and a lack of decent sleep and rest.To tackle these problems the nurses need to be empowered to precisely assess and address the stressors and indicators for mental degradation. At the same time both the patient and the healthcare professionals need to be able to communicate seamlessly despite the patient’s physical condition. These soft vital signs which are not picked up by machines yet are difficult to assess.
Sova is a system to monitor aspects of the patient‘s mental health continuously while allowing the patients to communicate their needs. It consists of a three parts. A sensor on the patient‘s head monitors the patients sleep patterns and brain activity. A patient interface with an integrated camera monitors the patients activity and allows the patient to communicate any needs, discomfort or pain via eye tracking. On the interface for the healthcare personell the gathered information is visualized.
With the information Sova helps the healthcare professionals to get a better understanding of the patient’s pain, activity, sleep and mental state. With Sova they can provide a more personalized, humane treatment which takes into account both the physical and mental state.