Evaluation Background: Ancillary Alarm Notification Systems

December 22, 2016 | Evaluations & Guidance


Here's background for our Evaluations of ancillary alarm systems, outlining the key considerations for making wise purchasing decisions. Learn how the technology is used, which product specs are important, what factors we test for, and more.

Alarms generated by the medical devices connected to a patient may not always be audible to the caregiver in charge of that patient. Ancillary alarm systems facilitate timely notification of appropriate personnel about relevant and actionable medical alarms and other patient-related messages. They can be used to:

  1. Notify clinicians of critical changes in a patient's status

  2. Notify technicians of impending repairs or any technical alerts

  3. Notify environmental services of bed status for cleaning

These systems are cleared by FDA as Class II medical devices and are primarily intended to be used as secondary notification pathways to complement the medical alarm systems used within a hospital (e.g., patient monitoring systems, ventilators, nurse call systems, pulse oximeters, bed occupancy monitors). They do not typically generate alarm signals themselves but rather integrate with medical devices and hospital information systems...

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