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Band-Aid style wearable syncs with a phone or tablet to diagnose Covid-19

By Cookie Monster - on 5 May 2020, 8:00am

Band-Aid style wearable syncs with a phone or tablet to diagnose Covid-19

The wireless sensor can sit on the throat to monitor coughs, fever and respiratory activity to diagnose Covid-19. <br>Image source: Northwestern Now.

Researchers at Northwestern University and Shirley Ryan AbilityLab in Chicago have developed a wireless sensor with a set of data algorithms to detect early signs and symptoms associated with Covid-19, and to monitor patients. 

The wireless sensor looks like a typical Band-Aid and is about the size of a postage stamp. It is designed to sit just below the suprasternal notch - the visible dip at the base of the throat - and worn 24/7 to monitor coughing intensity and patterns, chest wall movements, respiratory sounds, heart rate and body temperature.

It is also fully encased without wires, electrodes, charge ports or removable batteries. When synced with a smartphone or tablet, the wearable device streams data in real time to a HIPAA-protected cloud where automated algorithms create graphical summaries to faciliate remote monitoring.

The researchers hope that the algorithms can extract Covid-like signs and symptoms from the data insights and symptoms even before the users themselves are aware of them. This will help provide early warning signs to frontline medical workers or patients so that they can take precautionary measures to reduce the risk of transmission and seek early treatment. The information gathered is also critical in allowing researchers know more about the nature of the coronavirus. 

The wearable devices are currently being used by Covid-19 patients and the healthcare staff who treat them. They are being monitored both in the clinic and at home, with more than 1,500 cumulative hours and more than 1TB of data being generated.

Technology is emerging as a critical tool in the fight against the Covid-19 virus. Many tech companies have rallied to fight back with their products, solutions, skills and expertise. For example, Apple and Google are working together to launch a contact tracing solution while Razer has converted production lines in China and Singapore to produce facemasks.

Source: Northwestern Now via 9to5Mac