Shimmer, a leading provider of wearable wireless sensor products and solutions, has partnered with the University of South Florida to develop an early warning system, including a wearable device, to help detect the progression of COVID-19 for those most at risk of severe infection.
In 81% of cases, COVID-19 causes an illness that is so asymptomatic or mild that people do not need hospitalization, while many of those with preexisting respiratory issues are associated with the vast majority of serious, severe, and fatal cases. Knowing this, researchers have put together a study utilizing existing noninvasive medical monitoring technology to monitor the physiological conditions of up to 100 study participants, each having tested positive for COVID-19.
The wearable devices, which are being provided by Shimmer Research, Inc., will track a variety of markers, including skin temperature, thoracic bioimpedance, oxygen saturation (SpO2), and more. Once the data is collected, scientists will use machine learning and artificial intelligence to synthesize the information and find patterns within the physiological fluctuations. These patterns will then be used to develop various profiles for potential patient outcomes.
“Being able to accurately measure a variety of indicators is critical in detecting and assessing the progression of COVID-19,” said Geoffrey Gill, President, Shimmer Americas. “By tracking multiple indicators researchers will be able to identify trends, variations, and opportunities that can be missed with intermittent or single variable monitoring.”
Shimmer Research, who has also recently been named a finalist for Informa Pharma Intelligence’s prestigious 2020 Citeline Best Sponsor-facing Technology Initiative Award, is supported by Enterprise Ireland.
The Shimmer3 EBio sensor is a fully-validated, CE marked and extensively used off-the-shelf product that offers the opportunity to measure critical indicators of disease severity with special emphasis on lung health, a primary concern for COVID-19 patients. Shimmer has initiated research to discover, validate, and use digital biomarkers to predict the course and outcome of COVID-19. Other researchers are expected to join in this effort to accelerate progress and provide independent validation.
“In short, continuous monitoring with the Shimmer3 EBio can provide a specific quantitative assessment of respiratory function and other symptoms that can act as outcome measures to address some of the challenges of measuring more traditional outcome measures,” added Gill. “The pandemic has put the world in a very unfortunate position, but we’re proud that our wearable products may help clinicians slow or halt the progression of this terrible virus. The entire Shimmer team is available to help in any way we can.”