Pulse-monitoring devices will be trialled in a NSW mental health unit as authorities look for new ways to prevent suicide among patients.
The $300,000 trial will involve at least 40 patients at the Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit at the Mater Campus in Newcastle.
As part of the trial, the suicide prevention project patients will wear a device that monitors their blood oxygen levels.
If their vital levels change, or the patient removes the device, staff will be notified.
"This trial is an important step in the search for better ways to support people in NSW living with mental illness, particularly when they are in hospital and need the most support," NSW Mental Health Minister Tanya Davies said.
Lead trial researcher Dr Fiona Shand, from the Black Dog Institute, said the device would provide greater freedom for patients to move around and allow staff to focus more on engaging with patients.
"This ground-breaking project presents a less intrusive way to monitor people who are vulnerable to suicide," she said.
Readers seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or the Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467.