Biovitals Sentinel platform developed by digital therapeutics company, Biofourmis, deployed by the Ministry of Health (MOH), Singapore to remotely monitor COVID-19 positive patients.
As the COVID-19 global pandemic continues through the second half of the year 2020, and the number of cases continuing to rise worldwide, its impact on healthcare resources will continue to grow. Healthcare systems battle to protect its clinicians and nurses from infection as well.
In Singapore, COVID-19 patients are monitored using cutting-edge wearable technology for disease surveillance and intervention. The artificial intelligence platform formulated by Biofourmis has been deployed by the MOH, Singapore for remotely monitoring COVID-19 positive patients. This helped in early detection of deterioration and enable clinicians and nurses to intervene early.
MOH has set up community care facilities (CCF) in April 2020 to ease the demand for hospital beds as the number of COVID-19 cases began to rise. These facilities catered care for COVID-19 patients who are clinically well and no longer require acute care, and newly confirmed cases with mild symptoms who do not require hospital care.
Biofourmis worked with MOH and the healthcare providers at the CCF at Singapore EXPO & MAX Atria and several Swab Isolation Facilities (SIF) – where patients awaiting swab results are isolated – to demonstrate the use of Biovitals® Sentinel to augment patient care for individuals housed at these facilities, with real-time remote vital signs monitoring by healthcare professionals.
The AI-powered platform provides 24/7 remote monitoring technology and analytics to clinicians on the vital signs and symptoms for early detection of any changes that could indicate deterioration, enabling quicker intervention. Real-time monitoring is done remotely through a dashboard and healthcare professionals can be alerted via their mobile phones of any changes in the patient.
Remotely monitoring patients would also reduce the potential of exposure to COVID-19 infection on the frontline medical staff caring for these patients. Data sent to the platform is taken from a biosensor developed by Biofourmis, which is worn on the upper arm of the patient. The biosensor is capable of measuring more than 20 physiological signals from the sensor data, including temperature, blood oxygenation, heart rate, blood pulse wave, heart rate variability, respiration rate, inter-beat-interval just to name a few.
Biofourmis worked with MOH to configure the Biovitals® Sentinel kits, which comprise the Everion® biosensor, clinicians’ dashboard and smartphone pre-loaded with the Biovitals® Sentinel patient facing app. This included developing a patient-facing app available in six different languages, setting critical thresholds for alerts to notify abnormalities in key monitoring vital signs and customizing the dashboards for ease of remote monitoring. The patient-facing smartphone app synchronizes the data in real-time to the cloud for analysis. It also collects qualitative data from patients who respond to questions about their symptoms and their functional status.
To provide technical support, Biofourmis set up a remote support team that uses video and chat functionalities in multiple languages for patients learn how to the use of the wearable sensors.
“We are honoured to support the Ministry of Health and the people of Singapore in their efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Kuldeep Singh Rajput, founder and CEO of Biofourmis.
“The data and knowledge we have gained and continue to gather in other countries using Biovitals® Sentinel are certain to help Singapore—and we will also gain new knowledge as part of this project as well. It is a privilege to know our technology can help these patients achieve better outcomes while also protecting frontline healthcare workers from unnecessary exposure while they deliver optimal care.”
The AI-powered platform has also been adopted by health systems across other countries, namely, the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and Hong Kong. In March 2020, Biofourmis announced that its platform was selected for a remote monitoring and disease surveillance program in Hong Kong involving patients with diagnosed or suspected COVID-19 infection.
The program—administered by The University of Hong Kong—uses Biovitals® Sentinel in quarantined patients with suspected disease to identify COVID-19-related physiological biomarkers that could indicate deterioration indicative of active disease.