Advantages of wearable vital sign monitoring in emergency care

Imagine a future where patients arriving at the emergency department have their vital signs continuously monitored, even before stepping foot through the doors. This futuristic vision could become a reality with the advent of wearable vital signs monitoring devices. In the fast-paced environment of the emergency department, where every second counts, wearable devices are changing the landscape of patient care. Gone are the days of stationary monitors and intermittent checks; wearable devices provide a new level of convenience and accuracy.

In this blog, we unravel the advantages and potential applications of wearable vital signs monitoring in the dynamic and life-saving setting of the emergency department.

1. Seamless continuity of care

The first big advantage of wearable vital signs monitoring is the seamless continuity of care. By wearing a monitoring device, patients can have their vital signs continuously measured from the moment they leave their homes until their discharge from the emergency department. A wearable device can be the link between out-of-hospital monitoring and the emergency department.

The out-of-hospital vital signs data can easily be shared with the emergency department, providing important contextual information about the patient’s condition upon arrival. This shared data facilitates more effective communication between healthcare providers, leading to better coordination of care and a smoother transition for the patient. It reduces the risk of errors or gaps in vital signs monitoring and ensures that critical information is readily available to the emergency department staff.

Another advantage of sharing the vital signs data is the optimization of resource allocation, as the triage can be done before arrival at the hospital. As patients approach the emergency department, healthcare professionals can access their real-time vital signs data, providing valuable insights into their condition before their arrival. This information allows for more effective prioritization of patients based on the urgency and severity of their conditions. With this data-driven approach to triage, resources can be allocated more efficiently, ensuring that those with the highest acuity receive prompt attention and appropriate care.

In a first step of showing the use of wearable devices in the seamless continuity of care, Hubner et al., 2015 proved the feasibility of monitoring patients in the waiting room of the emergency department. The healthcare providers stated that they were able to easily identify patients who needed immediate help and the patient reported that they felt safe while being monitored with the wearable devices. The overall feedback showed very good acceptance from patients and healthcare providers.

Wearable vital signs monitoring during emercy care can facilitate more effective communication during ambulance and hospital

Wearable vital signs monitoring during emergency care can facilitate effective communication between the ambulance and hospital.

2. Patient comfort and enhanched mobility

The second big advantage of wearable vital signs monitoring is the improvement of patient comfort and enhanced mobility. Traditional vital signs monitoring often requires patients to be connected to stationary monitors, limiting their mobility. Wearable devices, on the other hand, offer an alternative, allowing patients to move more freely, change positions, and engage in necessary activities without compromising the accuracy of vital signs monitoring. Multiple studies showed that this patient-centered approach reduces patient discomfort and promotes a sense of empowerment and autonomy, [Areia et al., 2021; Leenen et al., 2020; Sun et al., 2020; Weenk et al., 2017]. The overall improved patient experience can have a positive impact on patient outcomes and satisfaction scores, leading to better patient-provider relationships and overall positive perception of the healthcare facility.

Furthermore, wearable devices eliminate potential disruptions in vital signs monitoring caused by patient movement. Emergency patients often require frequent movement within the department for diagnostic tests, procedures, or consultations with specialists. Traditionally, the patients would need to be disconnected from monitoring devices for these movements. These interruptions in vital signs monitoring can lead to gaps in data and delay the detection of any significant changes in a patient’s condition. Wearable devices offer a solution by ensuring continuous monitoring throughout the patient’s journey, both within and outside the emergency department. This minimizes disruptions and allows healthcare providers to capture vital signs data seamlessly, ensuring a more comprehensive assessment of the patient’s health status.

Chest pain patient

Wearable vital signs monitors such as patches can give ECG patient-at-home data quickly to in-hospital physicians.

3. Cost-efficiency

The third big advantage is the cost-efficiency of wearable vital signs monitoring. Wearable vital signs monitors are designed to be compact and lightweight, utilizing advanced sensor technologies and wireless connectivity. This design, coupled with advancements in miniaturization, simplifies the manufacturing process, resulting in lower production costs in comparison to the larger traditional monitors. This makes wearables devices an economical choice for healthcare providers. Furthermore, wearable vital signs monitors are often designed to be durable and easily replaceable, minimizing maintenance and repair expenses. These reduced maintenance costs also contribute to their overall cost-effectiveness.

As said before, one of the key advantages of wearable vital signs monitoring is the ability to continuously monitor patients without confining them to beds or specific locations. Meaning that the vital signs of patients can be constantly monitored at the ward or in rehabilitation centers, leading to reduced length of stay at the emergency department and preventing unplanned re-admissions. This enables healthcare providers to optimize resource allocation by freeing up beds and reducing patient wait times. Efficient resource allocation not only reduces costs associated with prolonged hospital stays but also minimizes overcrowding, leading to a more streamlined and cost-effective healthcare environment.

Smaller, lightweight and wireless medical patches are more cost efficient comparing to wired medical devices

Smaller, lightweight and wireless medical patches are more cost efficient comparing to wired medical devices


To summarize, wearable vital sign monitoring has transformed emergency care through seamless continuity of care, patient comfort and enhanced mobility, and cost-efficiency. As technology advances, we can anticipate even more innovative wearable devices that seamlessly integrate real-time monitoring into emergency care protocols. Embracing these advancements will revolutionize how we deliver emergency care, ultimately could lead to saving more lives.



  1. “Emergency Department Vital Signs and Outcomes after Discharge”
  2. “Repeated vital sign measurements in the emergency department predict patient deterioration within 72 hours: a prospective observational study”
  3. “Emergency Department Triage Scales and Their Components: A Systematic Review of the Scientific Evidence”
  4. “The association between vital signs and mortality in a retrospective cohort study of an unselected emergency department population”
  5. “How accurate are vital signs in predicting clinical outcomes in critically ill emergency department patients”
  6. “Frequency of vital sign assessment and clinical deterioration in an Australian emergency department”
  7. “Origin and History of Emergency Medicine”,_present,_and_future.1.aspx

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