PCP Nightingale

Connecting patients and carers using wearable sensor technology

Use of smart data analysis and communication systems for comprehensive monitoring of patients’ vital functions on hospital wards and at home to ensure rapid recognition and response to deterioration.

The H2020 “Nightingale” project was set up with the goal of radically improving the monitoring of patients at risk of deterioration by means of unobtrusive, wearable sensor systems. To this purpose, a consortium of users from five major hospitals in the Netherlands, Germany, Sweden, Belgium and the United Kingdom launched a “Pre-Commercial Procurement” (PCP) project to stimulate European industry and work with it to build such systems.

In comparison to the ICU, patient monitoring on general wards is conducted in a much less intensive way, with reliability of detection of any problems decreasing further when patients are discharged home, thus increasing the risk that any deterioration in their health is only recognised and acted on with considerable delay. The outcome is avoidable setbacks in patients’ recovery and failure to treat new complications which in the worst case can lead to death.

Continuous monitoring of patients’ vital signs should enable nursing staff, doctors, or carers at home to recognise any deterioration in patients’ health before irreversible harm occurs.

The proposed systems should be able to continually measure vital parameters (for example, respiratory rate, blood pressure), integrate other key (e.g. biochemical) data and communicate significant abnormalities to the healthcare team.

It should be possible for the devices to be worn permanently on the body without restricting mobility and used for two-way communication so that the patient has the option of being asked about and reporting any concerns.

At the end of 2017, the consortium of users issued a Europe-wide call for tender for the development of innovative solutions, with over 150 manufacturers registering their interest. The project is currently in Phase III.

Phase I: Nine bidders were awarded contracts for the development of design concepts with a deadline of 1 May 2018.

Phase II: To further develop these design concepts into functional models/prototypes, four bidders with the most promising ideas were invited to continue with their work and supported in it. They presented their solutions at the beginning of 2019, and the new products were evaluated in early studies with human volunteers in London and Utrecht.

Phase III: In November 2019, the two bidders with the best performing prototypes were awarded contracts to further develop their solutions and validate them in clinical trials at all five consortium locations during autumn/winter 2020.

Project durationNovember 2016 to April 2021 (expected end date)
Budget€ 4.8 million
Partners5 hospitals
CoordinatorUniversity Medical Center Utrecht (NL)
(Universitair Medisch Centrum Utrecht - UMC Utrecht)

Professor Cor Kalkman/Heleen Rienstra

Opportunities to participate
Procurement could take place in the framework of a follow-up EU project via the instrument “Public Procurement of Innovative Solutions” (PPI), subsidised by the European Commission.

Stakeholders in the health sector interested in purchasing the solutions once they have been commercialised can already register their interest in the new products with the project coordinator.


Further information and contacts

Further information can be found on the project website and on CORDIS, a European Commission website where EU-funded projects are published.

Contact KOINNO/EU Contact Point for Public Procurement of Innovation

Juan Carmona-Schneider
EU Contact Point Project Manager
Email: jc@zenit.de
Tel: ++49 / 208/ 30004 54