Ear sensor enables safe telemedical care for COVID-19 risk patients

With ear sensors, a research team headed by Prof. Dr. Georg Schmidt from TUM's university hospital Klinikum rechts der Isar has continuously monitored the biological values of Covid-19 patients in order to enable convenient home care – and rapid transport to the hospital if necessary.
Credit: Andreas Heddergott / TUM

Telemedical monitoring more reliable than self-assessment.

Using telemedicine, COVID-19 patients can be cared for safely at home – from initial home isolation to recovery or, in case problems arise, admission to hospital. A team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has now successfully demonstrated this in a study involving 150 patients with risk factors for a severe progression of the disease.

COVID-19 patients are required to go into home isolation. But this can be dangerous for high-risk patients if they develop a severe progression during isolation. In this case, timely admission to the hospital for treatment can be critical for survival.

Unfortunately, many COVID-19 patients do not immediately notice when their condition starts to deteriorate. The alternative of playing safe by admitting all at-risk patients immediately upon diagnosis would overburden the clinics.

Small effort – large gain in safety

During the recent Corona waves, Georg Schmidt and his team provided telemedical care to more than 150 patients with risk factors for a severe progression of the disease using an ear sensor that is easily worn behind the ear like a hearing aid.

The sensor recorded all important values such as body temperature, heart rate, respiration rate, and oxygen saturation in 15-minute intervals and transmitted the data to the telemedicine center at TUM’s university hospital Klinikum rechts der Isar. There, the team continuously monitored all incoming data. In addition, each participant was called at least once a day to inquire about his or her condition.

Whenever the team noticed a deterioration in the readings, they called the patient. A physician then took a decision on whether hospitalization was indicated. With minimal effort, the team achieved a quality of monitoring quite comparable to that at a hospital.

Great patient satisfaction

Around one in eight participants had to be admitted during the study. Interestingly, most of these patients later stated that they did not themselves realize the degree of deterioration in their condition.

“To our knowledge, this is the first study worldwide to continuously monitor patients in home isolation remotely and to prompt immediate hospitalization in the event of critical health deterioration,” said Prof. Georg Schmidt, head of the Biosignal Processing Group at the Klinikum rechts der Isar.

The study illustrates that COVID-19 risk patients can be monitored effectively using telemedicine, potentially saving valuable resources in future waves of infection. Patients were also very satisfied and felt significantly safer thanks to the continuous monitoring.

###

The study was funded by the TUM University Foundation, the Margarete Ammon Foundation and the Bavarian State Ministry of Science and the Arts. The sensor used by the authors is manufactured by Cosinuss GmbH, a spin-off from the Technical University of Munich.

Journal: PLoS ONE
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0257095
Method of Research: Experimental study
Subject of Research: People
Article Title: Remote monitoring of COVID-19 positive high-risk patients in domestic isolation: A feasibility study
Article Publication Date: 24-Sep-2021

Media Contact

Andreas Battenberg
Technical University of Munich (TUM)
battenberg@zv.tum.de
Office: 49-892-891-0510

Original Source
https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36943

Media Contact

Andreas Battenberg
Technical University of Munich (TUM)

All latest news from the category: Medical Engineering

The development of medical equipment, products and technical procedures is characterized by high research and development costs in a variety of fields related to the study of human medicine.

innovations-report provides informative and stimulating reports and articles on topics ranging from imaging processes, cell and tissue techniques, optical techniques, implants, orthopedic aids, clinical and medical office equipment, dialysis systems and x-ray/radiation monitoring devices to endoscopy, ultrasound, surgical techniques, and dental materials.

Back to home

Comments (0)

Write a comment

Newest articles

Frequency translating add/drop filters designed for on-chip light manipulation

New filters could benefit data communication, quantum information processing and optical neural networks. Researchers report the development of frequency translating add/drop filters based on electro-optically modulated photonic molecules. The new…

How a bacterium may help solve the plastic pollution crisis

Researchers from Nara Institute of Science and Technology find that the bacterium Ideonella sakaiensis can not only degrade petroleum-based plastics but can also sustainably produce biodegradable plastics. Plastic pollution is…

New technique paves the way for perfect perovskites

Next-gen solar material could outshine other solar cells. An exciting new solar material called organic-inorganic halide perovskites could one day help the U.S. achieve its solar ambitions and decarbonize the…

Partners & Sponsors