The Illinois program gives people recovering from COVID-19 a home kit that includes a pulse oximeter, Bluetooth-enabled sensor correction, and a paired smartphone. The software takes data from the wearable patch and uses machine learning to develop a profile of each person’s vital signs. The monitoring system alerts doctors remotely when a patient’s vitals – such as heart rate – are deviating from their normal levels.
Usually, patients who recover from Covid disease may be sent home with a pulse oximeter. PhysIQ developers say their system is more sensitive because it uses artificial intelligence to understand each patient’s body, and its creators claim it is more likely to anticipate significant changes.
“It’s a huge benefit,” he says. Terry Vanden Hook, chief medical officer and chief of emergency medicine at the University of Illinois Health, which hosts the pilot. He says working with Covid cases is difficult: “When you work in the emergency department, it’s sad to see patients who have waited so long to get help. They will need extensive care on a ventilator. You can’t help but ask, ‘If we could warn them before four’ Days, could we have prevented all of this?”
Like Angela Mitchell, most of the study participants are African Americans. Another great group is the Latino. Many also live with risk factors such as diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure or lung disease that can occur Complicating recovery from Covid-19 disease. Mitchell, for example, suffers from diabetes, high blood pressure and asthma.
African American and Latino communities were the hardest hit by pandemic in Chicago And across the country. Many essential workers or Living in high-density, multi-generational housing.
For example, there are 11 people in Mitchell’s home, including her husband, three daughters, and six grandchildren. “I do everything with my family. We even share Covid-19 together!” she says with a laugh. Two of her daughters tested positive in March 2020, followed by her husband, before Mitchell herself.
Although African Americans make up only 30% of Chicago’s population, they make up about 70Percentage of early COVID-19 cases in the city. That percentage is down, but African Americans who recover from COVID-19 still die at rates two to three times those of whites, and vaccination campaigns have been less successful in reaching this community. Study researchers say the PhysIQ system could help improve survival rates, by sending patients to the emergency room before it’s too late, just as they did with Mitchell.
Lessons from jet engines
PhysIQ founder Gary Concrete has previous experience with remote monitoring, but not with people. In the mid-1990s, he developed an artificial intelligence startup called Smart Signal with the University of Chicago. The company has used machine learning to remotely monitor equipment performance in jet engines and nuclear power plants.
“Our technology is very good at detecting subtle changes that are the first to predict a problem,” Conkright says. “We discovered problems with jet engines before GE, Pratt & Whitney and Rolls-Royce because we developed a custom model for each engine.”
General Electric acquired the Smart Signal, but Conkright reserved the right to apply the algorithm to the human body. At the time, his mother had COPD and was moved to intensive care several times, he said. The entrepreneur wondered if he could remotely monitor her recovery by adapting the existing AI system. The result: PhysIQ and the algorithms now used to monitor people with heart disease, COPD, and covid-19.
Its strength, Conkright says, lies in its ability to create a unique “baseline” for each patient — a snapshot of that person’s criteria — and then detect tiny changes that might cause concern.
The algorithms only need about 36 hours to create a profile for each person.
The system recognizes “how you look in your daily life,” says Vanden Hoek. “Maybe you are breathing faster, your activity level is dropping, or your heart rate is different from baseline. Your advanced practice provider can consider those alerts and decide to call that person to check in. If there are concerns” – such as possible heart or respiratory failure “She could be referred to a doctor or even urgent care or the emergency department,” he says.
In the pilot program, clinicians monitor data flows around the clock. The system alerts medical staff when participants’ condition changes even slightly – for example, if their heart rate is different from what it normally is at that time of day.