Research project:

Soft Vital Signs & Mental Health

TIME: 10 weeks
TEAM: A. Fries, M. Güsson, M. Mehmetalioglu, F. Böttcher

PROJECT GOAL: Research hospital intencive care workflows and identify poroblem areas.

Final concept - SOVA

Sova is a system to monitor patient‘s mental health continuously while allowing the patients to communicate their needs during mechanical ventilation.

It consists of a three parts. A sensor on the patient‘s head monitors the patients sleep patterns and brain activity. A patient interface with an integrated camera monitors the patients activity and allows the patient to communicate any needs, dicomfort or pain via eye tracking. On the interface for the healthcare personell the gathered information is visualized.

Problem area

More than half of the patients suffer from severe mental problems during or after their stay in the ICU. This slows down the recovery process and has long term effects on the patient‘s quality of life.

Mental conditions experienced in the ICU can reach all the way from bad dreams and continuous discomfort to delirium and post traumatic stress syndrome. Early recognition of signs and appropriate management are key to prevent extensive cost to the healthcare system due to effects such as increased mechanical ventilation, increased hospitalisation and increased mortality. Despite its importance, mental health is not addressed sufficiently in the ICU.

"50% of patients suffer from severe mental problems after leaving intensive care treatment."

Concept elements


Patient sensor

Patient sensor on the forehead, monitors the patient’s pain through electrical activity of the muscles, emotional state patterns and sleep cycles.


Patient monitor

This is the patient's interface, controlled via eye tracking that is enabled by a built in nIR system.  It also monitors patient’s activity and enables nurses to perform diagnostics like ICU CAM more efectively.


Nurse interface

A platform for healthcare professionals  to control the system. It empowers the personell to monitor  patient‘s mental health and a wide range of indicators over time.



We collaborated with healthcare professionals at the Umeå University Hospital and experts from Getinge team. Conducted interviews with several specialists from Finnland, Estonia, Sweden and Germany, who are active in the fields of patient care and neurology. This process provided us with useful insights about Intensive Care Units in general, how patients are being monitored and the role the patient‘s mental health plays today. We also considered feedback we received from nurses at the hospital in Umeå thorouhgout our concept developement.

Copyright © 2021. Mihkel Güsson. All Rights Reserved