Drs. Nicholas Slamon and Rob Parker, a team of pediatric ICU physicians at Nemours/A.I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, DE, are studying real-time biometrics (heart rate, respiratory rate, calories burned, activity, heart rate variability) of critical care providers to better elucidate how stress affects the care of pediatric patients. Through measuring the provider’s biometric data using a Hexoskin™ biometric smart shirt (Hexoskin, Carrè Technologies, Montreal, Quebec) and performing statistical and graphical analysis via VivoSense® (VivoSense, Newport Beach, CA), the research team will distinguish situations that make physicians most stressed. They will quantify ICU activities including patient rounds (PR), endotracheal intubation (IN), central line insertion (CL), a family meeting (FM) and as leader of a code blue activation (CB). Through monitoring these activities, they will recognize biometric patterns that make performing the tasks inherent to a PICU physicians job more difficult.

“Imagine a sick child being rushed into the hospital. This child is ashen, lethargic and not breathing. The parents are beyond distraught as they believed their two-week-old baby simply had her first cold. The team of care providers must make life or death decisions within a split second. These are some of the most stressful times we have in medicine,” says Dr. Rob Parker. “We believe that through studying how our bodies respond to these scenarios, we can look for ways to help our physicians make the right decisions, lower their stress levels and achieve better patient outcomes.”

Their research is one of the first to look at how on the job stress affects the vital signs of providers. With current interest in burnout and workplace fatigue, the hope is that this research opens new doors to how physicians can be trained to decrease perceived stressors. “An old saying in medicine is to check your own pulse before entering a code. We believe that this research may actually give this some credence.”

VivoSense® is an all-inclusive platform for analyzing raw physiological data, and will be used to manage ECG and respiratory artifact, identify and label key physiological events, and derive heart rate variability and respiratory research metrics as an indicator of stress. VivoSense® will automatically detect and remove or interpolate artifact from ECG data, improving the accuracy of the data and providing reliable measures of stress.

The pediatric physician’s day includes numerous potentially stressful procedures. VivoSense® integrates identified procedure times with the physiological data to provide relevant context to the HRV and respiratory metrics. VivoSense® presents straightforward solutions to a complex study protocol.

At VivoSense, we love learning how our analysis solutions advance significant research such as that described by Drs. Slamon and Parker.