UC San Diego develops eCOVID remote patient monitoring app
A team of engineers working with physicians at the University of California San Diego announced the launch of the eCOVID application, which tracks patient status remotely.
WHY IT MATTERS
The remote patient-monitoring app, which is being tested by patients in a clinical trial at UC San Diego Health, is used in combination with a wearable device that monitors vital signs such as heart rate and oxygen-saturation levels, as well as activity and sleep levels.
Patients complete a daily questionnaire about their symptoms, such as fatigue, cough and shortness of breath, using the eCOVID app, and that information is automatically transmitted to a secure, interactive dashboard monitored by healthcare providers.
Healthcare workers have the ability to directly message patients with alerts and feedback, with the aim of reducing anxiety levels in patients who have tested positive for the novel coronavirus but are not in need of hospitalization.
The university's COVID-19 telemedicine clinic, which collaborated with the engineering team on the eCovid app, also plans to apply machine learning algorithms to data from patients' vital signs, health behavior and self-reported symptoms in the second phase of the project.
THE LARGER TREND
RPM and telehealth have emerged as key healthcare tools in managing the pandemic, allowing health professionals to monitor patients without increasing risk of infection.
The COVID-19 pandemic is spurring the move to virtual care, with companies like LiveChat and Infermedica partnering on a free chatbot for COVID-19 risk assessment, and health systems like Yale New Haven Health deploying remote monitoring for ventilator patients.
With the COVID-19 pandemic having already set the stage for a massive increase in telehealth consults, research firm Frost & Sullivan sees an even bigger future for the technology, as demand for one-stop virtual visits and remote patient-monitoring grows as much as sevenfold.
Overall, the broader embrace of APIs and more concerted strategy for patient matching could help public health agencies combat the pandemic and boost pop health, according to a recent fact sheet released by the Pew Charitable Trusts.
ON THE RECORD
"The eCOVID app provides us with concrete information daily regarding each patient's clinical status, allowing us to prioritize who needs to be personally contacted that day," Dr. Michele Ritter, an infectious diseases specialist at U.C. San Diego Health and director of the COVID-19 telemedicine clinic, said in statement. "It also gives patients peace of mind knowing that they are being monitored and can quickly convey any changes in their status to our COVID team."