Small wearable device monitors virus symptoms

Coronavirus

CHICAGO, Ill. (AP) — A wearable device the size of a postage stamp is being tested by researchers at Northwestern University and Shirley Ryan AbilityLab as a way to monitor and catch early signs and symptoms of COVID-19.

The device can be worn 24/7, and it produces continuous streams of data as it continuously measures and interprets coughing and respiratory activity.

The soft, flexible, wireless, device sits just below the visible dip at the base of the throat. From this location, the device monitors coughing intensity and patterns, chest wall movements (which indicate labored or irregular breathing), respiratory sounds, heart rate and body temperature, including fever.

It wirelessly transmits data to a cloud, where automated algorithms are tailored to catch early signs and symptoms associated with COVID-19 and to monitor patients as the illness progresses.

The devices are currently being used at Shirley Ryan AbilityLab by COVID-19 patients and the healthcare workers who treat them.

About 25 affected individuals began using the devices two weeks ago. They are being monitored both in the clinic and at home.

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