Project Details

First Response Monitor

Wearable device helps medics save lives in disaster and combat areas

By Cambridge Design Partnership

Project URL:
Project Twitter: @CDP_innovation

  • Health
  • Mobile
  • Physical Computing

Measuring and monitoring vital signs of trauma patients in locations like battlefields and disaster areas is a hugely time-consuming and risky endeavour for first response medics. 

When interviewed about their needs and challenges, a range of army medics said that a mechanism to bridge laborious manual monitoring – which can be especially difficult in chaotic situations – and more expensive monitoring systems was badly needed. 

Cambridge Design Partnership, who conducted the interviews, came up with a solution, which they call the First Response Monitor. 

A small, robust and portable wearable that can be clipped onto the nose of a trauma patient, the First Response Monitor measures heart and respiratory rates. It shares information both through its built-in screen, as well as via Bluetooth onto a smartphone and tablet app, so that emergency medics can keep tabs on a patient’s heart and lung function, even while attending to others. 

Continuous low-cost monitoring means that doctors can focus on patients’ care, when time is of the essence, rather than spending precious minutes on manually monitoring heart and respiratory rates, which are important to track as they can indicate life-threatening conditions like sepsis. The data is retained in the app, so that doctors can monitor patients’ vital signs over time. 

While the device has been designed for use in a mass casualty setting, First Response Monitor has potential applications in civilian medicine, especially in low-resource healthcare areas, where simple, low-cost tech solutions go a long way towards providing quality patient care. 

“The monitor can help save lives in a variety of environments and we’re really keen to speak to partners about developing the potential applications further,” says James Baker, Partner at Cambridge Design Partnership. Find out more at

Image courtesy of First Response Monitor

Last updated: 04th of October, 2016

Cookies on the Social Tech Guide

Social Tech Guide uses cookies to provide you with an enhanced user experience. To remove this message, please click continue.

Continue Learn more