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Low-Cost Pulse Oximetry and Infra-Red Temperature Device for COVID-19 Patients


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With the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, there was a pressing need for simple yet effective remote monitoring solutions. In this paper, we describe a low-cost device developed for monitoring COVID-19 patients. The device uses an ESP32 module and integrates two distinct off-the-shelf biomedical sensors: a pulse oximeter by MAXIM, and an infra-red (IR) thermometer by MELEXIS. The device communicates with a smartphone via Bluetooth which then sends the acquired data to a cloud-based platform.An initial evaluation was performed at Coimbra’s Polytechnic Institute, and covered reproducibility and agreement with standard clinical devices, revealing a strong correlation for the pulse oximeter and a necessity for further testing the IR thermometer.
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In 2019, a new virus, SARS-CoV-2, responsible for the COVID-19 disease, was discovered. Asymptomatic and mildly symptomatic patients were forced to quarantine and closely monitor their symptoms and vital signs, most of the time at home. This paper describes e-CoVig, a novel mHealth application, developed as an alternative to the current monitoring paradigm, where the patients are followed up by direct phone contact. The e-CoVig provides a set of functionalities for remote reporting of symptoms, vital signs, and other clinical information to the health services taking care of these patients. The application is designed to register and transmit the heart rate, blood oxygen saturation (SpO2), body temperature, respiration, and cough. The system features a mobile application, a web/cloud platform, and a low-cost specific device to acquire the temperature and SpO2. The architecture of the system is flexible and can be configured for different operation conditions. Current commercial devices, such as oximeters and thermometers, can also be used and read using the optical character recognition (OCR) functionality of the system. The data acquired at the mobile application are sent automatically to the web/cloud application and made available in real-time to the medical staff, enabling the follow-up of several users simultaneously without the need for time consuming phone call interactions. The system was already tested for its feasibility and a preliminary deployment was performed on a nursing home showing promising results.
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Background: Since December 2019, when coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) emerged in Wuhan city and rapidly spread throughout China, data have been needed on the clinical characteristics of the affected patients. Methods: We extracted data regarding 1099 patients with laboratory-confirmed Covid-19 from 552 hospitals in 30 provinces, autonomous regions, and municipalities in China through January 29, 2020. The primary composite end point was admission to an intensive care unit (ICU), the use of mechanical ventilation, or death. Results: The median age of the patients was 47 years; 41.9% of the patients were female. The primary composite end point occurred in 67 patients (6.1%), including 5.0% who were admitted to the ICU, 2.3% who underwent invasive mechanical ventilation, and 1.4% who died. Only 1.9% of the patients had a history of direct contact with wildlife. Among nonresidents of Wuhan, 72.3% had contact with residents of Wuhan, including 31.3% who had visited the city. The most common symptoms were fever (43.8% on admission and 88.7% during hospitalization) and cough (67.8%). Diarrhea was uncommon (3.8%). The median incubation period was 4 days (interquartile range, 2 to 7). On admission, ground-glass opacity was the most common radiologic finding on chest computed tomography (CT) (56.4%). No radiographic or CT abnormality was found in 157 of 877 patients (17.9%) with nonsevere disease and in 5 of 173 patients (2.9%) with severe disease. Lymphocytopenia was present in 83.2% of the patients on admission. Conclusions: During the first 2 months of the current outbreak, Covid-19 spread rapidly throughout China and caused varying degrees of illness. Patients often presented without fever, and many did not have abnormal radiologic findings. (Funded by the National Health Commission of China and others.).
Predictors of disease duration and symptom course of outpatients with acute covid-19: a retrospective cohort study. medRxiv
  • B James
  • O'keefe
James B. O'Keefe et al. Predictors of disease duration and symptom course of outpatients with acute covid-19: a retrospective cohort study. medRxiv, 2020.