Doctors Launch Study Of Sensor That Will Monitor Patients Re
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Researchers in Chicago have launched a pilot study looking at whether a wearable sensor can safely monitor COVID-19 patients at home. The University of Illinois Health system has teamed up with PhysIQ, a digital medicine start-up to create artificial intelligence (AI) that people ill with COVID-19 could wear, which would track vital signs including oxygen levels and heart rates.

The team says the sensor will not only help prevent hospitals but from becoming overcrowded, will also prevent patients from not seeking care until it's too late. According to MIT Technology Review, each patient is given a kit to take home with them that includes a pulse oximeter, a sensor patch that has Bluetooth, and a paired smartphone.

The patch, which is worn on the chest, uses an AI algorithm to determine a patient's normal vital signs. If a patient has oxygen levels or heart rate that differ from normal, the patch will send data to the smartphone, which will alert doctors. 'It's an enormous benefit,' Dr Terry Vanden Hoek, head of emergency medicine at University of Illinois Health told MIT Technology Review.

A 59 year old patient, who tested positive for COVID-19 spent two nights into isolation and she woke up unable to breathe. She went into the bathroom to try to take a shower but was sweating, dizzy and trying to catch her breath. 'I was sitting in the bathroom literally holding on to the sink when my phone rang,' Mitchell told MIT Technology Review.

The call was from clinicians at the hospital who had been remotely monitoring her vital signs via the patch she was wearing. They told her she needed to get to an emergency room immediately. She delayed but then received another a call in the morning, telling her that if she didn't get to a hospital, an ambulance would be called for her. Her husband drove to Northwestern Memorial in Chicago and, after she was admitted, doctors told her oxygen levels had fallen to dangerously low levels.

She remained in the hospital for a week. 'This device is being utilized in communities that are deprived of these opportunities. This can help everyone.' The study is now recruiting about 1,700 participants from across Chicago, many of whom are at higher risk because they have underlying conditions - such as obesity or diabetes - or are people of color including African-American and Latino.

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