Contactless vital sign monitoring to improve Patient Safety in Emergency Department Waiting Rooms: A prospective, single-site, pilot study

Grant ID: EMJS-451R40-2023-WEST

Project Summary

Emergency Departments are experiencing an ever increasing volume of patients presenting for medical care. At times, the number of patients in Emergency Departments can exceed the number of available beds. When this happens, sicker patients are allocated to treatment areas while those less unwell are required to wait in the waiting room. Some waiting room patients will inevitably become more unwell before being seen by a doctor. Measuring vital signs - blood pressure, heart rate, breathing rate, blood oxygen levels, temperature - is a proven method for early detection of deterioration in unwell patients. Emergency triage clinicians endeavour to measure vital signs of waiting room patients, however, their ability is significantly limited during period of insufficient staffing and overcrowded waiting rooms. Innovative, camera-based advanced sensor technology could facilitate automatic, contactless, vital sign measurement during periods where available resources are limited or overwhelmed. Contactless vital sign measurement could thus enable early detection of patient deterioration and improve patient safety in emergency department waiting rooms. Such technology has shown promise in recent studies but has not been rigorously tested in an Australian Emergency Department. This project will study one such technology to determine its reliability and accuracy in measuring vital signs in waiting room patients at Townsville University Hospital Emergency Department. If this technology is found to be reliable and accurate, this study will improve quality of care and safety for patients in emergency department waiting rooms.


Amount Awarded


Grant Scheme


Principal Investigator:
Ms Courtney West

Co Investigators:
Dr Vinay Gangathimmaiah
Mr Travis Cole
Dr Hollis (Tag) Hopkins
Dr Javaan Chahl
Dr Titilayo Ogunwa
Mr Samuel Teague
Ms Danyi Wang


Collaborating Institutions

CONTACT US +61 7 3720 5700 Suite 1B, Terraces, 19 Lang Parade, Milton Qld 4064