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Finnish solution to enable real-time monitoring of vital signs

The solution promises to greatly reduce the cost of monitoring the vital signs of people in challenging situations, such as firefighters.


HTM Solutions has announced a non-invasive solution to monitor vital signs in, for instance, firefighters.

The company says its solution, known as Cee°, is the first that is capable of accurately calculating and delivering a wide range of thermal parameters in real time without intrusive probes, special pills or direct body measurements. All the information, be it on body core temperature, sweating rate or physiological strain, is gleaned based exclusively on individual body characteristics such as height, weight and heart rate.

It thereby promises to greatly reduce the cost of monitoring the vital signs of firefighters, athletes and other people in challenging or outright hostile conditions.

Pekka Tuomaala, principal scientist at VTT, pointed out that firefighters are at risk of injury and even death due to dehydration and elevated core temperature.

“Firefighters need to know that their body temperature has not gone too high, and this is particularly hard to tell in stressful conditions where firefighters are used to pushing through discomfort. Training and exercising while wearing heavy firefighter gear first impacts cognitive skills and then eventually kills you if you are not made aware of your condition,” he said.

According to the company, Cee° can precisely compute and provide an extensive array of real-time thermal data without the need for invasive probes, specialised pills, or direct bodily measurements.

HTM Solutions

The effects of dehydration are similarly dangerous.

“Loss of fluid is as potent as drinking shots of vodka,” he illustrated. “If you lose 10 per cent of your body mass in water, the body goes into shock. Problems start when the body loses five per cent or more.”

The solution is launched in collaboration with Emergency Services Academy Finland, which is responsible for educating and training firefighters in Finland. The academy used to measure the body core temperature of students during training with a swallowable pill but jumped at the opportunity to shift to a real-time measurement solution that did not require the insertion of uncomfortable devices into the body.

“VTT had already done testing with our students using the [human thermal model] and a comparison of the consistency of the results of this model against the results given by pills swallowed or inserted into the body,” recounted Pekka Lindholm, head of training at Emergency Services Academy Finland.

“I reached out and was excited to find out about the advancements in the technology implementation. The new system enables the monitoring of multiple firefighter students from a single smart tablet without the use of expensive and less pleasant pills.”

The solution is introduced in partnership with Emergency Services Academy Finland, responsible for firefighter education and training.

Pelastusopisto / Facebook

VTT reminded that global warming has already resulted in longer, more active and more destructive wildfire seasons, increasing demand for firefighters. In British Columbia, Canada, for example, the 2023 wildfire season was the most destructive on record, with over 22 500 square kilometres of land burned. Set in 2018, the previous record was slightly more than 13 500 square kilometres.

HTM Solutions’ monitoring technology for vital signs was developed as part of VTT LaunchPad, a spin-off incubator that brings together scientists and their discoveries, and business minds and investors intent on re-shaping industries.

Critical success

Finland has also been making innovative strides in other areas of emergency services. Encompassing the likes of the fire brigade, police, emergency medical team, armed forces, Finland’s critical communications sector is preparing for a broadband upgrade to its pioneering and world-leading public safety network, Virve.

All public safety officials in Finland have access to Virve, an approach that saves time and improves situational awareness, resulting in more efficient decision-making and fewer lives lost. According to Timo Lehtimäki, the CEO of Erillisverkot, the next generation of Virve will facilitate seamless co-operation between the authorities and other public safety operators, crucial in daily life but also in crisis situations.

Erillisverkot is the state-owned special-purpose company that provides services for organisations that support the safety and functioning of society in the fields of communications, mission control and securing critical infrastructure.

“The importance of Virve in critical operations cannot be overstated,” he commented.

By: Aleksi Teivainen