What You Need to Know:
– Boston-based Biofourmis’ AI-powered digital therapeutics technology has inked a deal with The University of Hong Kong and Hong Kong’s Department of Health to leverage its wearable, AI-powered remote monitoring platform to provide new insights to fight COVID-19 in a national disease monitoring program.
– Biofourmis’ technology will remotely monitor coronavirus infected and suspected patients and apply personally predictive analytics to help patients and increase COVID-19 knowledge.
– This first-of-its-kind program—which has international implications and applications—points to the value of the emerging category of digital therapeutics in monitoring patients with diagnosed or suspected COVID-19, while also helping clinicians better understand the disease so that they can better treat it.
As the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread, Boston-based Biofourmis is being leveraged in a remote monitoring and disease surveillance program in Hong Kong involving patients with diagnosed or suspected novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The national disease monitoring program—administered by The University of Hong Kong’s Department of Health—also includes Hong Kong-based Harmony Medical Inc., which is Biofourmis’ joint venture partner for the China region.
Remote Patient Monitoring to Identify COVID-19-Related Physiological Biomarkers
Diagnosed and potentially COVID-19-infected patients are being monitored with Biofourmis’ Biovitals® Sentinel platform, a turn-key solution that the company built in less than two weeks specifically for this initiative by customizing its FDA-cleared artificial intelligence (AI)-powered Biovitals® Analytics platform. Biovitals Sentinel’s 24/7 remote monitoring technology and analytics are providing clinicians involved in the COVID-19 program with clinical decision support for early identification of any physiological changes that could indicate deterioration, to enable earlier interventions for better outcomes.
“The goal of this program is to leverage Biovitals® Sentinel to remotely monitor patients and identify COVID-19-related physiological biomarkers that indicate deterioration in patients,” said Prof. David Chung Wah Siu, MD, Department of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong. “We hope our combined efforts also will rapidly lead to a better epidemiological understanding of COVID-19 so we can improve the outcomes of our citizens—as well as the global community—as more people become infected.”
How the Disease Monitoring Program Works
Patients with COVID-19 deterioration commonly exhibit symptoms such as fever, cough and shortness of breath, all of which can be closely monitored through related physiological parameters via Biofourmis’ cutting-edge, clinical-grade biosensor Everion®, which is being worn on the arm by patients quarantined in their homes or clinical settings. Clinicians and researchers are still learning how this strain of the coronavirus affects the body, and the research will help elucidate that.
To measure body temperature and numerous other biomarkers, patients are wearing Everion, which has several medical-grade sensors, including optical, temperature, electrodermal, accelerometer and barometer. Everion® can be comfortably worn for 24 hours a day for several days and has much higher-than-average patient satisfaction and adherence rates. AI-powered Biovitals® Analytics will derive more than 20 physiological signals from the sensor data, including temperature, heart rate, blood pulse wave, heart rate variability, respiration rate, inter-beat-interval and others. These signals are then fed through advanced AI and machine-learning techniques to flag key physiological changes that could indicate disease progression.
The Biovitals®Sentinel solution also includes a smartphone app to collect qualitative data reported by patients as they respond to AI-generated “smart nuggets.” Treating physicians, through the Biovitals Sentinel clinician-facing web dashboard, will observe and be alerted to any significant physiological changes and adverse events, so they can intervene when necessary.
The Impact of Accelerated COVID-19 Deterioration Identification
“The sooner these biomarkers associated with COVID-19 deterioration are identified, the sooner healthcare providers can intervene and prevent a serious medical issue,” said Kuldeep Singh Rajput, CEO of Biofourmis. “We currently know the common symptoms, but we are still learning how this strain of the coronavirus affects the body. This program will be a key step in achieving this important goal. When a pandemic such as COVID-19 spreads and so much is unknown, every second counts.”
Global Implications for Disease Monitoring Program
Dr. Raymond Tong, CEO of Harmony Medical Inc., Biofourmis’ joint venture partner for the China region, added: “With this special partnership with The University of Hong Kong and its leading experts in the field, we are tackling the coronavirus in a rapid and an unprecedented fashion, which could potentially save lives.”
Future Expansion Plans to Other Government Agencies Worldwide to Fight COVID-19
Biofourmis is in conversations with government agencies in other regions about applying its technology to help even more patients and fight against the global spread of COVID-19 so that it can be treated more effectively. “The Biovitals® Sentinel solution is scalable and ready to be deployed in any country or region that wants to engage in similar disease monitoring or for patient care delivery,” Rajput said. “We look forward to helping any other academic medical and/or government agencies that would be interested in a similar partnership.”