Monitoring people wearing PPE

Workers wearing personal protective equipment are a prime target for suffering from heat stress or other physical injuries. Due to the heavy equipment and often working in extreme, high pressure environments, a worker may become disorientated, unaware they are suffering from heat stress or in pain, or not wanting to admit it, and by that point this can result in an injury, requiring a worker to take time off to recover.

By utilising physiological monitoring equipment, commanders and supervisors can step in early, ensuring the worker takes on sufficient fluids and has a short rest before heading back to work, or workers can be circulated, ensuring maximum efficiency. Wearable monitoring equipment also ensures a high duty of care for the team, meaning they feel more protected and takes the pressure of decision making – of deciding when “enough’s enough” – out of their hands as someone up the chain is doing that for them.

Equivital’s flagship LifeMonitor is a body worn sensor which measures ECG, heart rate, breathing rate, skin temperature, activity and body position, and connects with external sensors to store and transmit the data.

The LifeMonitor measures ambulatory heart rate, available to view every 5 seconds, 15 seconds or on a beat by beat basis. Two leads of ECG is used to calculate heart rate and reduce noise, resulting in more accurate heart rate data during high activity. Unlike other heart rate monitors that simply measure the pulse, the LifeMonitor measures and stores the whole QRS complex which allows more detailed analysis.

The system can be paired with core temperature capsules, ingested and ready to use instantly. The monitor has a skin temperature sensor, bringing together a holistic view of the user’s vitals. All of the data combines to show a heat stress spectrum – from ‘safe’ up to ‘needing medical attention immediately’. The most popular feature of the Equivital heat stress index is its ability to predict 15 minutes into the future the user’s heat stress, providing vital time for a commander to pull a user out of the danger zone if necessary.

The Equivital LifeMonitor has FDA 510K clearance and is CE marked.