The Patent (US5331549)

The essence of the patent is pretty straightforward: a supervisory system that monitors vital signs and provides visual representation of multiple inputs for multiple patients. The graphic presentations and alarms are governed by a set of notification states that take into account both patient status and sign inputs.

The most relevant parts of the patent, with respect to current wireless and large-scale systems, are the ability to display warnings on a map and grade those warnings according to patient status as well as raw vital signs.

The abstract and first claim are included below, and the entire patent can be viewed on the web at the United States Patent and Trademark Office web site. 

We are also more than happy to mail a hard copy if requested.


A medical monitoring system in which a plurality of vital signs monitors for a plurality of patients provide data on a continuing basis to a central server which in turn provides supervisory screen display that indicates the normal status or varying levels of alarm status of individual patients. The system permits an overview display of a floor and also provides a zoom-in display of an individual site patient together with an indication of a limited number of vital signs and a warning alarm signal when any one or more vital signs is outside of a first warning set of predetermined limits or a more critical alarm set of predetermined limits.


    1. A medical monitoring system comprising:

  • a plurality of individual site vital sign monitors, each of said monitors providing a plurality of vital sign signals for each of said plurality of sites,
  • a central processing unit, said vital sign signals from each of said site monitors being coupled as inputs to said central processing unit;
  • a display screen coupled to outputs from said central processing unit;
  • an overview display on said screen, said display including a topological presentation of each of said sites and a first set of icons, each icon of said first set representing a separate one of said sites,
  • a plurality of vital sign states for each of said vital signs at each of said individual sites, each of said vital sign states providing an indication of the relative significance of the vital signal being measured by a monitor relative to a predetermined vital sign value limit,
  • means to set a patient status state at each of said sites,
  • a set of Notification States to rank the relative importance of the vital state occurring at each of said individual sites as a partial function of said patient status state and a partial function of said vital sign state, and
  • a set of alarm signals indicating said Notification States, said alarm signal employing said first set of said icons to provide site identification of the Notification State involved.

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By J. Michael Crawford.
Copyright (c) 2002 Solo Systems, Inc. All rights reserved.
Revised: March 20, 2002.