viQtor for patients in all phases of perioperative care

Because sometimes you have to wait months for an operation and your condition can change during this waiting period. Because you want your treating doctor to see this and to be able to adjust the planning of your operation if necessary. Because you are back home after surgery, and your recovery is monitored by your doctor. That's why you wear viQtor.

Safe before and after surgery

On an annual basis, more than 3 million operations are performed in the Netherlands. Now that we are getting older and the diagnostic possibilities are improving, more and more procedures are being performed per person. The available capacity in hospitals and clinics is not growing proportionally. Many scheduled operations have been canceled during COVID. As a result, there are currently waiting lists of at least 2 months for most procedures, but often much longer.

Every year, patients die while waiting for a surgical procedure. And when the condition of patients deteriorates while waiting, there is also an increased demand for emergency care and acute interventions. At the same time, not all available operating theater time is optimally utilized, due to last minute cancellations.

Everyone benefits from a solution to this problem. Correct (better) timing of an operation, appropriate to a patient's condition, is essential. Monitoring could help with this.

After surgery, patients go home as soon as medically possible. Within Europe, the Netherlands has the shortest average length of stay. This means that patients could be going home in a vulnerable condition and there are still risks of complications or deterioration. With good monitoring, these patients can be monitored remotely, and intervention can be made in time if necessary.

What can viQtor mean before surgery?

After registering for an operation, a patient must wait until the scheduled date. During this waiting period, a patient usually no longer sees the doctor. But the patient's condition can still change: it can improve or worsen. Worsening of the condition may mean that surgery has to be done sooner. And if the condition worsens just before the scheduled date, surgery may not take place in some cases. This can mean that the scarce and valuable time of a team and the facilities is not used, while there is also a waiting list.

With monitoring, deterioration of a patient's condition can be detected (earlier). Based on trends or alerts in the viQtor dashboard, the doctor can decide to change the medication policy or give lifestyle advice to reverse the deterioration. The doctor may also decide to operate earlier or to postpone the operation.

There is ample research available that shows that the patient's condition during surgery determines the outcome of the treatment. “Better in = better out” is the motto. Based on the measurement values of viQtor, the doctor or healthcare worker can determine appropriate treatment to improve the patient's condition, so that the outcome is optimized.

What can viQtor mean after surgery?

During an operation, a very specific problem is solved. The risk to the patient is greater than the success or failure of this procedure. Medication (for example anesthesia) during and after the operation and the procedure itself have a major impact on the patient's condition.

After surgery, the patient goes home or to a facility for rehabilitation as soon as possible. In most operations, the patient leaves the hospital after 1 to 3 days.

Complications of an operation such as wound infections, bleeding, thrombosis, etc. can also occur after discharge from the hospital. Treating a complication is easier if it is detected earlier. The risk of a fall after surgery is also greater. The combination of fall detection, help button and monitoring of vital values makes viQtor a unique solution for (monitoring) patients in the first weeks after surgery.

The patient feels safer at home and therefore dares to move more, which in many cases is good for recovery. The (family) doctor or (home) care professional can intervene more quickly when problems are detected.

How does viQtor work?

viQtor has a unique combination of functions, so that the care for patients around surgery can be optimally supported. The device continuously measures a number of vital functions of the body: pulse rate, oxygen saturation and skin temperature. This allows doctors and caregivers to see how things are going from a distance, and to intervene in time when necessary. In addition, viQtor has an activity monitor, fall detection and a help button. When using the help button or when a fall is detected, the location is also determined very accurately.

viQtor automatically measures every minute and sends the average of the measurements to the viQtor platform every 5 minutes. This is done via an extremely secure internet-of-things (NB-IoT/LTE-M) connection, without going through another device, such as a smartphone or WiFi.

It may take some getting used to being controlled like this. But it's also a comforting thought. Knowing that someone is watching you gives a sense of security. The period around an operation is always exciting. Then it is extra nice to know that the doctor or healthcare employee will take action if necessary.

Benefits for healthcare professionals

Monitoring of patients in the period around a planned operation can provide various benefits for the healthcare providers involved and the planning and utilization of care (capacity).

With monitoring in the period before the operation, the patient's condition can be monitored during the waiting period and adjusted if necessary. If worsening can no longer be prevented with medication or lifestyle modification, in some cases the operation must be performed earlier than planned. The measurements of viQtor can provide insight into the patient's condition and help with this decision and the prioritization of patients on a waiting list. In this way, acute care or even death during the waiting period can be prevented. The result of the treatment can also be positively influenced.

A patient's condition may also change shortly before the scheduled surgery date. If an operation cannot take place, you want to know this as early as possible so that the operating room and bed capacity that has become available can be used differently. The measurement values of viQtor can provide insight into the patient's condition and on the basis of this a decision can be made to postpone the procedure earlier than on the day of admission.

During the pre-operative screening (POS), the patient's risk (ASA) is mapped and in some cases it is decided that post-operative monitoring is necessary. A patient is then admitted for 1 or more nights to the department where this is possible: an intensive care unit, a high care unit or PACU (Post Anaesthesia Care Unit). This type of bed is scarce and expensive. Sometimes operations cannot take place because this type of bed is not available in the hospital. Together with the LUMC, smartQare wants to demonstrate that this monitoring could also take place with viQtor in a regular department. We will start a testing ground for this at the end of 2022.

The care process of planned procedures usually includes a standard check-up at a fixed time after the operation. Based on the measurement values of viQtor, more customization can be applied and a check-up appointment can only be scheduled if necessary based on the patient's condition.

Monitoring with viQtor has the potential to contribute to both the quality and outcomes of treatment and the effectiveness of care (through better utilization and planning)