Biofourmis' AI-fueled remote monitoring tech provides insights in fight against COVID-19
Biofourmis, a developer of digital therapeutics aimed at personalized care, says its technology is being used in a remote-monitoring and disease-surveillance program in Hong Kong involving patients with diagnosed or suspected novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
The program, administered by the University of Hong Kong, also includes Hong Kong-based Harmony Medical, which is Biofourmis’s joint-venture partner for the China region.
WHY IT MATTERS
Patients potentially infected with COVID-19 are being monitored with the Biofourmis Biovitals Sentinel platform, a system the company built in less than two weeks specifically for this initiative by customizing its FDA-cleared artificial intelligence-powered Biovitals Analytics platform.
Biovitals Sentinel’s 24/7 remote-monitoring technology and analytics are providing clinicians involved in the COVID-19 program with clinical-decision support for early identification of any physiological changes that could indicate deterioration, and in order to enable earlier interventions for better outcomes, the vendor said.
Patients with COVID-19 deterioration commonly exhibit symptoms such as fever, cough and shortness of breath, all of which can be closely monitored through related physiological parameters via Biofourmis’s biosensor Everion, which is being worn on the arm by patients quarantined in their homes or clinical settings. Clinicians and researchers are still learning how this strain of the coronavirus affects the body, and the research will help elucidate that, the company explained.
"The sooner biomarkers associated with COVID-19 deterioration are identified, the sooner healthcare providers can intervene and prevent a serious medical issue."
Kuldeep Singh Rajput, Biofourmis
To measure body temperature and numerous other biomarkers, patients are wearing Everion, which has several medical-grade sensors, including optical, temperature, electrodermal, accelerometer and barometer. Everion can be worn for 24 hours a day for several days. AI-powered Biovitals Analytics derive more than 20 physiological signals from the sensor data, including temperature, heart rate, blood pulse wave, heart-rate variability, respiration rate, inter-beat-interval and others.
These signals then are fed through advanced AI and machine-learning techniques to flag key physiological changes that could indicate disease progression.
The Biovitals Sentinel system also includes a smartphone app to collect qualitative data reported by patients as they respond to AI-generated “smart nuggets.” Treating physicians, through the Biovitals Sentinel clinician-facing web dashboard, can observe and are alerted to any significant physiological changes and adverse events so they can intervene when necessary.
THE LARGER TREND
Biofourmis is in conversations with government agencies and other potential partners in various regions about applying its technology in an effort to help more patients and learn more about COVID-19 so that it can be treated more effectively.
The Biovitals Sentinel system is scalable, the company said, and ready to be deployed in any country or region that wants to engage in similar disease-monitoring or for patient-care delivery. The company said it is prepared to work with any other academic medical centers, government agencies or other entities that would be interested in working like the University of Hong Kong.
ON THE RECORD
“The goal of this program is to leverage Biovitals Sentinel to remotely monitor patients and identify COVID-19-related physiological biomarkers that indicate deterioration in patients,” explained Dr. David Chung Wah Siu, of the University of Hong Kong's department of medicine.
“We hope our combined efforts also will rapidly lead to a better epidemiological understanding of COVID-19 so we can improve the outcomes of our citizens – as well as the global community – as more people become infected,” he said.
“The sooner biomarkers associated with COVID-19 deterioration are identified, the sooner healthcare providers can intervene and prevent a serious medical issue,” added Kuldeep Singh Rajput, CEO of Biofourmis.
“We currently know the common symptoms, but we are still learning how this strain of the coronavirus affects the body,” he said. “This program will be a key step in achieving this important goal. When a pandemic such as COVID-19 spreads and so much is unknown, every second counts.”