Patients infected with the virus mostly report mild to moderate respiratory symptoms such as slight fever, shortness of breath and coughing, and febrile symptoms.
It is very important to preserve acute and ICU health service capacity by identifying those with serious illness without transferring all infected patients from home, community setting or residential care facilities to emergency rooms or hospitals.
A simple monitoring platform with a low cost lightweight bio-band could detect changes in respiration, temperature and circulation variables and help refer the patients to hospitalisation earlier that could facilitate a controlled elective admission and avoid an emergency presentation. Likewise, non- pandemic symptoms can be treated in place and avoid unnecessary ED presentations
The Medivitals solution will bring enormous economic benefits to Health services. It will enable early detection of diseases and prevent disease complications. It is an ideal technology for remote screening and monitoring, and telemedicine-based consultations.
The digital health market is estimated at $500bn growing at 21% and this bio-band and data platform will revolutionise real time data gathering and telehealth.
Vital signs are an important component of patient care and critical in detecting or monitoring diseases. Based on the vital signs, doctors can determine which treatment protocols to follow.
They can provide real time critical information needed to make life- saving decisions, and also provide feedback about treatment outcomes. Five of the important vital signs routinely monitored are:
Respiration rate (rate of breathing)
SpO2 or Oxygen saturation
In hospitals, nurses carry a heavy workload in regular checking patient’s vitals by attaching various devices to patient’s body. These devices are sometimes bulky with long cables and uncomfortable to wear for a sick patient. This process is only a spot check on a patient’s condition and doesn’t cater what could happen between the vital signs measuring points.
A single wearable band which could continuously measure multiple vital signs will revolutionise patient care. The vitals signs can be continuously monitored and equipped with artificial intelligence based clinical decision support to provide disease specific alerts, and trigger a patient’s decline or distress.
Smart watches such as from Apple (where data goes offshore to Apple) or Fitbit (where data goes offshore to Google) or watches from China (where data goes to China or other countries) will be able to measure one or two vital signs with limited clinical validation to confirm their accuracy. Their cost, lack of sensitivity and specificity do not provide a useful ROI. They are also removable or can be lost by vulnerable users living with dementia. In addition, all data collected by these watches go to their own cloud with no control of the data to the users except visualization of the data. This is a major data privacy issue. It is impossible to develop disease specific biomarkers or alerts using the data. Users can only visualise the data.
The proposed bio-band device will be able to measure all 5 vital signs and activity with long battery life (3-12 months battery life), waterproofed and use non-allergic material. AI will be used to analyse the data to develop diseases specific biomarkers and alerts such that early detection of diseases will be possible. This low-cost bio-bands could be given to all patients admitted into Australian hospitals such that their vital signs could be monitored from the time they enter the hospital through to post discharge and back under the care of their GP. Usually nurses wake up sick patients very often to measure vitals using conventional bulky devices. It is uncomfortable to wear or use on patients. The proposed device will be able to send all data to the hospital cloud using Bluetooth or use of embedded SIM. A patent is being developed and submitted to protect the IP related to the overall system including the bio- band and software system supporting it.
Features like falls detection and geo-fencing could alert of patients walking away from the facility, especially Alzheimer’s patients. The cost to locate such patients run into millions of dollars.
Health insurers will see the value of monitoring bio makers to measure and incentivise improved health outcomes.
The bio-band communicates its location and vitals through the SIM Card or e-SIM (embedded SIM) using NB-IoT with 2G fallback.