Monitoring and tracking of asymptomatic patients is a public health challenge in times of a pandemic. Recent reports have revealed reduced levels of blood oxygen saturation in patients suffering from COVID-19. This is observed even in patients who are asymptomatic, a condition known as “silent hypoxia”. Elevated body temperature and decreasing blood oxygen saturation are thus key early indicators of a potential infection. Dr. Hardik J. Pandya’s team from the Biomedical and Electronic (10-6 – 10-9) Engineering Systems (BEES) Laboratory at the Department of Electronic Systems Engineering (Mr. Anil Vishnu G. K. and Mr. Arjun B. S.) in collaboration with MIISKY Technovation Pvt. Ltd. (Mr. Jagannathan Gopalakrishnan (MD), and Design Engineer Mr. Midhun C. Kachappilly) and a team of Clinicians (Dr. Sonal Asthana and Dr. Vishnu Kurpad) have developed a smart band that can monitor the patient’s blood oxygen saturation and body temperature on a continuous basis. The device uses non-invasive near infrared technology for calculating these vital parameters. These readings are then automatically uploaded to an android application (via Bluetooth connectivity) which can then be accessed by clinicians or the public health department. When there is an increase in body temperature or a drop in oxygen saturation level beyond admissible limits, the health officials can be alerted through an SMS to their phones. The team envisage such a technology will be of critical utility in public health management of our country in times of a pandemic. It will help ease the burden on the testing facilities and the health infrastructure by being able to monitor asymptomatic patients remotely.
The work is featured in the national daily, The Hindu. The article link is below: