Condition category
Not Applicable
Date applied
Date assigned
Last edited
Prospectively registered
Overall trial status
Recruitment status

Plain English Summary

Background and study aims
Hospital patients have their vital signs measured regularly. If they are very ill they may need to have them measured continuously. Current monitors are bulky or awkward. This can prevent them from moving and walking enough to help them get better. The Virtual HDU study is aiming to prevent patients from needing this type of monitoring unnecessarily. There are now small wireless vital sign monitors available. In the future we want to put these on hospital patients who are ill but, not ill enough to need standard wired monitors. The monitors may pick up when a patients vitals worsen. It will alert the nurses or doctors to check them and they may give them the treatment they need earlier. This could improve their recovery and could reduce the length of their hospital stay.

Who can participate?
Healthy clinical staff volunteers.

What does the study involve?
This study, Phase 3, involves testing different monitors on a NHS hospital ward to see how they work. This includes checking if the wireless signal is affected by the wards layout. We will test if the monitors are comfortable to wear and easy to use. this will then enable the refinement of the technology before patient testing. They will each wear a monitor for the duration of their shift, when appropriate. They will then complete a questionnaire about wearing the monitor.

What are the possible benefits and risks of participating?
No benefits or risks to participating.

Where is the study run from?
The study will be run by the Critical Care Research Group at the Kadoorie Centre for Critical Care Research and Education.

When is the study starting and how long is it expected to run for?
The study started in April 2019 and will run until October 2021 (updated 20/11/2019, previously: August 2019)

Who is funding the study?
This study is funded by the NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Centre.

Who is the main contact?
Louise Young

Trial website

Contact information



Primary contact

Mrs Louise Young


Contact details

Kadoorie Centre for Critical Care Research and Education
Level 3
John Radcliffe Hospitals
Headley Way
United Kingdom
01865 231482

Additional identifiers

EudraCT number

Nil known number

Nil known

Protocol/serial number

Sponsor (CTRG) and Research and Development ref: 13976

Study information

Scientific title

Virtual HDU Phase 3: locational testing of ambulatory monitoring systems on a surgical ward


Virtual HDU Phase 3

Study hypothesis

True continuous vital sign monitoring within the ward environment is not currently feasible due to limitations in vital sign monitoring technology but, is commonly believed to increase the timely detection of patient deterioration. Wearable monitors may provide an alternative continuous monitoring system, affording patients more mobility, less discomfort, reduce nursing time and improve the early detection of abnormal physiological parameters. Barriers to the successful implementation of these wearable devices are reliability, efficiency and data processing systems.

This study aims to demonstrate and test robust a wearable monitoring system with good reliability and reliability, but also be acceptable to end-users of the system.

Ethics approval

Approved 22/02/2019, Medical Sciences Interdivisional Research Ethics Committee, University of Oxford (Research Services, University of Oxford, Wellington Square, Oxford, OX1 2JD; +44(0)1865 616577; +44(0)1865 280467;, ref: R61573/RE001.

Study design

Observational single-site mixed methods study

Primary study design


Secondary study design

Mixed methods study

Trial setting


Trial type


Patient information sheet

Not available in web format, please use contact details to request a participant information sheet.


Healthy volunteers


This study has been designed to optimise ambulatory monitoring systems to provide reliable continuous data recording in a clinical setting. This will be done during several rounds of testing and troubleshooting, to optimise the systems being tested for clinical use.

Healthy staff volunteers will wear the ambulatory monitor(s) around the target ward for up to the length of a working shift (up to 12 hours). They will wear up to three different combinations of ambulatory monitor. The participants can remove the monitor when needed to undertake direct patient care.

Information regarding the proprtion of time each vital sign parameter is recored versus the time the device was worn. The availability of data collected (via bluetooth and Wi-Fi) will be analysed. The data collection system (software and hardware) will be tested and analysed to detect and troubleshoot and fix errors and improve reliability.

Participants will be asked to complete a questionnaire, rating the user experience of the ambulatory monitors. Study is complete once all participants have worn all of the monitors and completed all questionnaires. There will be no further follow-up.

Intervention type



Not Applicable

Drug names


Primary outcome measure

The proportion of time each vital sign parameter (heart rate, SPO2 and breathing rate) is recorded versus time the device is worn.

Secondary outcome measures

1. The frequency and duration of data drop-out for each vital sign parameter.
2. The waveform quality of each vital sign parameter.
3. The wear-ability of the device is measured using questionnaires after each time an ambulatory monitor wear session has ended.
4. The availability of data over the 12 hour period, log of issues and crashes.
5. Duration of battery is measured as life from full charge to battery drain.

Overall trial start date


Overall trial end date


Reason abandoned (if study stopped)


Participant inclusion criteria

1. Staff working for the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, in the designated area.
2. Willing and able to give informed consent for the study.
3. Aged 18 or over
4. In good health.

Participant type

Healthy volunteer

Age group




Target number of participants


Participant exclusion criteria

1. Allergies to adhesives dressings or metals e.g. Nickel.
2. Intra-cardiac device e.g. permanent pacemaker (only applicable to the chest patch monitor).

Recruitment start date


Recruitment end date



Countries of recruitment

United Kingdom

Trial participating centre

John Radcliffe Hospital
Headley Way, Headington
United Kingdom

Sponsor information


University of Oxford

Sponsor details

Clinical Trials and Research Governance
Joint Research Office
Boundary Brook House
Churchill Drive
United Kingdom
01865 289885

Sponsor type




Funder type

Research organisation

Funder name

NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Centre

Alternative name(s)

Funding Body Type

Funding Body Subtype


Results and Publications

Publication and dissemination plan

It is anticipated that the study outcome will be used to inform the design of future studies and in the application process for future research.
The project outcome may be written up for peer-reviewed publication with the possibility of being presented in conferences.
The results may be shared internally within the department/university.

We will offer to contact any participants who express an interest in the results of the project.

IPD sharing statement: the data sharing plans for the current study are unknown and will be made available at a later date.

Intention to publish date


Participant level data

To be made available at a later date

Basic results (scientific)

Publication list

Publication citations

Additional files

Editorial Notes

31/03/2020: Due to current public health guidance, recruitment for this study has been paused. 20/11/2019: The following changes were made to the trial record: 1. The recruitment end date was changed from 05/10/2019 to 05/10/2020. 2. The overall end date was changed from 05/10/2020 to 05/10/2021. 3. The intention to publish date was changed from 01/05/2020 to 05/10/2022. 4. The plain English summary was updated to reflect these changes. 17/09/2019: The overall trial end date was updated from 22/08/2019 to 05/10/2020. 10/09/2019: The recruitment end date was changed from 22/08/2019 to 05/10/2019. 14/06/2019: The recruitment start date was changed from 30/04/2019 to 17/06/2019. 14/05/2019: Trial's existence confirmed by the Medical Sciences Interdivisional Research Ethics Committee.