The CSAIL team has already put Emerald to use at an assisted living facility, where they used it to remotely monitor a COVID-19 patient. As the patient recovered, the system detected that her breathing rate decreased from 23 to 18 breaths per minute, her sleep improved and she was walking more quickly around her apartment.
“Given how Emerald can generate important health data without any patient contact, it could minimize the risk that doctors and nurses will catch the disease from their patients,” says Dr. Ipsit Vahia, an assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. That could be especially helpful in places like skilled nursing and assisted living facilities, where so many patients are at a high risk for contracting COVID-19.
BREAKING: this MIT wireless device has just been used by Boston doctors to monitor COVID-19 patients from a distance, to reduce the risk of contagion.
— MIT CSAIL (@MIT_CSAIL) April 14, 2020
As the number of COVID-19 cases spike, Emerald could allow less severe patients to stay at home but remain under the supervision of healthcare providers. In the future, Emerald could be used to monitor other conditions, like anxiety, insomnia and sleep apnea. And along with telehealth, it could spur the shift toward tech-driven remote care.
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