VivaLNK, a Santa Clara, California-based connected health startup, recently announced that Shanghai Public Health Clinical Center (SPHCC) is using the startup’s continuous temperature sensor to combat the spread of coronavirus in China. Modeled after the previous SARS outbreak in 2003, SPHCC contains special wards designed to limit cross infection and to provide more efficient treatments.
SPHCC is designated as the primary treatment center in Shanghai, and confirmed patients from area hospitals are also sent to the SPHCC for quarantine and treatment.
WHY IT MATTERS
On Jan. 30, the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. According to a BBC News report, the death toll from the outbreak in China has reached 170 and a confirmed case in Tibet means the virus has reached every region in mainland China.
A key challenge in combating contagious diseases is limiting the spread of the virus within a hospital. Cross infection from patient-to-patient and patient-to-caregiver can be a major problem. While quarantining patients may limit patient-to-patient contact, contact between caregivers and patients can also be avoided with technology.
HOW IT WORKS
Working with VivaLNK solution partner Yijing Health, the temperature sensor is applied directly onto the patient and allows for continuous, real-time monitoring of changes in body temperature. The data is then sent electronically from the patient to a remote observation dashboard at the nursing station, which allows nurses/healthcare staff to monitor them easily and safely. Instead of physically checking the patient's temperature every few hours with a mercury thermometer, temperatures can be monitored remotely and automatically, thereby limiting patient-to-caregiver contact.
SPHCC also plans to deploy other VivaLNK sensors to monitor such vitals as heart rate and respiratory rate. The VivaLNK solution has been deployed in four other hospitals in various locations throughout China.
THE LARGER TREND
Singapore-based Veredus Laboratories is working on the development of the VereCoV detection kit, a portable Lab-on-Chip application capable of detecting Wuhan Coronavirus in a single test, MobiHealthNews reported. The detection kit is slated to be commercially available by Feb. 1 this year.
A STAT article reported that AI is becoming a useful tool in efforts to monitor and respond to global outbreaks such as the coronavirus. Millions of posts about coronavirus on social media and news sites are allowing algorithms to generate near-real-time information for public health officials tracking its spread.
ON THE RECORD
"The world will never be rid of diseases, but more effective methods of prevention and treatment can be achieved through technological advances," said Jiang Li, CEO of VivaLNK, in a statement.