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Wearable devices for remote vital signs monitoring in the outpatient setting: an overview of the field
  1. Stephanie Soon1,
  2. Hafdis Svavarsdottir2,
  3. Candice Downey2,
  4. David George Jayne2
  1. 1School of Medicine, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK
  2. 2Leeds Institute of Medical Research at St. James’s, St. James’s University Hospital, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK
  1. Correspondence to Candice Downey, Leeds Institute of Medical Research at St. James’s, University of Leeds, Leeds, LS2 9JT, UK; c.l.downey{at}


Early detection of physiological deterioration has been shown to improve patient outcomes. Due to recent improvements in technology, comprehensive outpatient vital signs monitoring is now possible. This is the first review to collate information on all wearable devices on the market for outpatient physiological monitoring.

A scoping review was undertaken. The monitors reviewed were limited to those that can function in the outpatient setting with minimal restrictions on the patient’s normal lifestyle, while measuring any or all of the vital signs: heart rate, ECG, oxygen saturation, respiration rate, blood pressure and temperature.

A total of 270 papers were included in the review. Thirty wearable monitors were examined: 6 patches, 3 clothing-based monitors, 4 chest straps, 2 upper arm bands and 15 wristbands. The monitoring of vital signs in the outpatient setting is a developing field with differing levels of evidence for each monitor. The most common clinical application was heart rate monitoring. Blood pressure and oxygen saturation measurements were the least common applications. There is a need for clinical validation studies in the outpatient setting to prove the potential of many of the monitors identified.

Research in this area is in its infancy. Future research should look at aggregating the results of validity and reliability and patient outcome studies for each monitor and between different devices. This would provide a more holistic overview of the potential for the clinical use of each device.

  • vital signs
  • remote monitoring
  • outpatient
  • wearables

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  • Presented at The findings of this review have been presented as a poster at the National Student Association for Medical Research (NSAMR) Conference in January 2019, and at the Association of Surgeons in Training International Surgical Conference in March 2019. The abstract will be published in the British Journal of Surgery.

  • Contributors CD and SS were involved in the conception of the work and designed the study. SS undertook the data collection and performed the analysis and interpretation. CD, HS and SS drafted the article. All authors (SS, CD, HS and DGJ) were involved in critical revision of the article and have given final approval of the version to be submitted.

  • Funding CD is in possession of a Doctoral Research Fellowship (DRF-2016-09-037) supported by the National Institute for Health Research. DGJ is funded by Bowel Cancer UK and RCS England. The research is supported by the NIHR infrastructure at Leeds.

  • Disclaimer The views expressed in this publication are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the NHS, the National Institute for Health Research, Health Education England or the Department of Health.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data availability statement Data are available on reasonable request.