Co-designing a new patient monitoring system in hospital emergency care.
We worked with healthcare professionals, patient and public representatives to allow them to mediate the decision-making process.

Main Researcher

Sandra Neves


01.12.20 — 31.06.23

External Links


participatory design, research


Safetrack, a multidisciplinary project involving academic expertise in health, informatics and electronic engineering, and companies in software development, medical devices, and commercial medical solutions worked together to explore how emergency departments in hospital could better respond to patient safety issues during patients’ hospitalization.

Design researchers worked together with healthcare professionals, patient and public representatives to co-design a new patient monitoring system to support early detection of clinical deterioration to promote patient safety and understand the potential of the Safetrack to support healthcare professionals to deliver quality of care.

Film credit: Leonardo Baptista


Healthcare professionals such as nurses and doctors were identified as highly knowledgeable participants, due to their experience in working in such a complex health context. Both healthcare professionals and patient and public representatives were very positive about the idea of developing a patient monitoring system for early detection of clinical deterioration and saw how it could be used to alert healthcare professionals of critical health deterioration in patients, as well as to improve communication and make clinical practices more effective.

Key opportunities

A focus to provide information

The emergency triage nurse only has between 3 to 5 minutes to assess a patient. We found that providing information about the importance of patients being continuously monitored at an emergency department in a hospital prior to the emergence of the triage nurse assessment was considered important to enable patients to reflect on the importance of the system in promoting safety and quality of care.

Easy to access

There is a common view that the patient monitoring system should start at the emergency triage. We understood that its application and activation should facilitate clinical practice at emergency triage.

Receiving notifications

Enabling healthcare professionals to receive notifications in “real-time” of patient health deterioration was considered crucial to better respond to critical health issues.

Visualizing information

Information presented in multi-formats can help healthcare professionals to better manage and coordinate care at an emergency department in a hospital.

Automatic information records

The information generated through the patient monitoring system should facilitate healthcare professionals in managing a variety of clinical information.

Ensuring the protection of personal information

Issues of data protection were highlighted and considered important to ensure personal information is confidential and protected.

We are very grateful to all participants for their time and enthusiasm.


Wiseware, Lda.

ciTechCare - Center for Innovative Care and Health Technology

CDRSP - Centro para o Desenvolvimento Rápido e Sustentado de Produto

Centro Hospitalar de Leiria

Dreamplas, Lda.

Epjmédica - Artigos Médicos E Hospitalares, Lda.


Co-funded by Programa Operacional Regional do Centro (Centro 2020), under the programme Portugal 2020, through Fundo Europeu de Desenvolvimento Regional (FEDER) – CENTRO-01-0247-FEDER-070111 and supported by Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT) (UIDB/05468/2020), Laboratório de Investigação em Design e Artes (LIDA), (UI/05704/2020), Center for Innovative Care and Health Technology (ciTechcare) and Politécnico de Leiria.