Muscat: A wrist-wearable device capable of tracking patients infected by COVID-19 has been invented by a researcher in Oman.
Developed by Dr Nissar Al Bassam and his team from Middle East College, the device can track people potentially infected by the disease, making it easy to locate them, should they need attention. It can also be used to pinpoint the locations of those who break quarantine, when they are supposed to stay in isolation.
It is capable of monitoring human vital signs directly related to COVID-19 symptoms, such as skin temperature, heart rate, oxygen saturation levels, and even the presence of cough by picking up sound waves, because of the deep learning model and Edge Impulse platform on which it is based.
“The information is used to detect and predict any infection possibilities based on COVID-19 symptoms, and the device is provided with a GPS system to locate the patients and update case managers about their geo fencing status,” said Al Bassam. “Moreover, it is provided with a communication module which is connected to cellular or data networks.
“This feature ensures direct connection to the cloud without passing through any external device, such as a patient’s mobile,” he added.
“This is done through registering patients on a system which connects this device to a mobile application. The app provides a summary of a person’s health, as well as notifications and updates on current condition.”
All the collected sensing data is sent directly to the database in the front-end cloud-based system. The cloud web-based application is designed to display related information, including a patient’s vital signs, location, their health status, and even the possibility of detecting whether they are infected, based on their vital signs.
The device displays the total number of people possibly infected by COVID-19, confirmed cases of infection, and those who have been cured of the symptoms (closed cases) so that healthcare authorities can direct their efforts towards people who need assistance. The software is also capable of alerting friends and relatives of the patients about his/her COVID status, and can provide them updates, in case abnormal physical symptoms are detected.
“The testing of all integrated systems shows that the wearable device can measure all human vital signs successfully,” explained Al Bassam.
“It can also detect the number of sound-waves produced by coughing, using machine learning techniques. This device was able to easily track the patient’s geographical information, providing an alarm and indicating the quarantine violations.”
“It can detect cases of quarantine violations among those who are less than 100 metres from wearers of this device, and provides regular updates to the cloud database, where patient data is stored, every two seconds. All information related to the patient and their medical history can be stored, managed, and monitored instantly,” he confirmed.