This wearable coronavirus sensor will pick up early signs of COVID-19

This wearable coronavirus sensor will pick up early signs of COVID-19

This Band-Aid-like sensor may not look much, but it can detect coronavirus symptoms before they are even noticeable.

There is now a new device that can pick up on the warning signs of COVID-19. This newly developed coronavirus sensor can also track the progression of the highly contagious disease.

With the COVID-19 still at large, early detection could be the line that separates death and survival for the coronavirus-stricken. As of this story’s publishing, there had been more than 3,800,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the world. Of these, over a million had recovered from the disease. The death toll, however, sits at 263,349.

Stick-on coronavirus sensor

The novel coronavirus had hit Chicago pretty hard. The United States has over a million confirmed COVID-19 cases, and 63,840 (and counting) of those are from Chicago.

However, it is also the place where a new coronavirus tracking device was developed.

Researchers from Northwestern University had come up with a noninvasive wearable sensor placed at the base of the throat. Made from silicone, the sensor will monitor a person’s breathing patterns, coughing, body temperature, and heart rate.

Afterward, the sensor will send data collected to a cloud. From there, algorithms set by the researchers will analyze the data and identify qualities about the coronavirus.

Once the analysis is made, graphical summaries will be sent to doctors and other real-life medical professionals.

How the coronavirus sensor works

Northwestern University made the device themselves. But it was a research hospital, Shirley Ryan AbilityLab, that developed the algorithms used in the sensor.

The sensor, for the most part, can pick up vibrations made when the chest wall moves. This device won’t need any acoustic tool since it focuses on vibration, not sound. This decreases the chance of interference down to zero because there won’t be any background noise.

“Our device sits at the perfect location on the body — a suprasternal notch — to measure respiratory rate, sounds, and activity because that’s where airflow occurs near the surface of the skin,” says Northwestern researcher John A. Rogers.

The sensor itself is not uncomfortable to wear. While at first, users will be able to feel it against their skin, but that will all fade away once the moment passes. And once the day ends, they would be able to detach the sensor easily.

This wearable coronavirus sensor will pick up early signs of COVID-19

A work in progress

The researchers are still improving the device and testing it out on 25 COVID-19 patients. The algorithm itself is not finished as they seek to enhance and modify it based on the results of the testings.

Shortly, they hope to include blood oxygen level measurements.


Images courtesy of Fusion Medical Animation and Tai’s Captures/Unsplash

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