The University of Illinois Hospital and Health Sciences Systems has launched a telehealth program using an mHealth wearable to remotely monitor staff and patients at high risk of being infected by the coronavirus.
A Chicago health system is launching a telehealth service that will use mHealth wearables to monitor front-line employees and high-risk patients for early indications of COVID-19.
The University of Illinois Hospital and Health Sciences System, comprised of the University of Illinois Hospital, 21 outpatient clinics and 11 federally qualified health centers, is partnering with digital health company physIQ on the remote patient monitoring program. Selected patients and staff will wear a biosensor patch that continuously collects and transmits physiological data in real time back to care providers.
“Our top priority is protecting and promoting the health and safety of our patients and staff, and COVID-19 has created an urgent need for innovative, tech-driven solutions,” Terry Vanden Hoek, MD, chief medical officer at UI Health and head of the Department of Emergency Medicine at the College of Medicine, said in a press release.
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Along with monitoring selected staff who come in direct contact with patients potentially infected with the coronavirus, the health system will use the telemedicine technology to monitor patients with risk factors such as heart and lung conditions or obesity, as well as those isolating at home.
“Continuous monitoring of patients using physiological modeling with AI offers an opportunity to detect a virus exacerbation early,” Vanden Hoek said. “Early intervention may prevent the body from initiating the ‘cytokine storm’ that we think causes the most severe complications of COVID-19. We hope this technology will help us to closely follow the health of our staff – in partnership with their primary care providers – and patients while they are at home with COVID-19.
UI Health is one several health systems across the country who are using mHealth devices and telehealth platforms to remotely monitor staff and patients for COVID-19. This includes the US Defense Department, which is working with physIQ to monitor patients at several military hospitals across the country and in southeast Asia.
Out West, meanwhile, Stanford Health and the Scripps Research Translational Institute are joining forces with Fitbit on a consortium to study how telehealth can be applied to research projects targeting the pandemic. And Evidation Health is using funding from the Bill Gates Foundation and the Health and Human Services Department’s Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) to launch a telehealth project that is gathering sleep and activity data and self-reported symptoms from 300 people at high risk of acquiring the coronavirus.
Source: mHealth Intelligence