Covid-19 fight gets sensor-sheet boost in Bengaluru

Covid-19 fight gets sensor-sheet boost in Bengaluru

Sensor-sheets being placed below the mattresses of Covid patients in ESI Hospital, Rajajinagar. Credit: DH Photo

Contact-less sensor technology is being used to monitor the vitals of Covid-19 patients at two hospitals in Bengaluru — a handy aid to fight the contagious disease that thrives on touch and physical proximity. 

Victoria Hospital and ESI Hospital, Rajajinagar, are using the technology which involves placing sensor-sheets under patients' mattresses to capture real-time body vitals without using any external wires or touching patients’ bodies.

The sheets capture micro-vibrations produced by the body every time the heart pumps blood, when a person inhales/exhales or muscle twitches.

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An early warning system, powered by artificial intelligence, then converts these signals into biomarkers and uses the data to present an analysis of the patient's health.

The sensor-sheet measures shoulder-to-shoulder and has the width of four fingers.

At the ESI Hospital, 50 such sensor-sheets have been in use for over a month now. During this period, they have flagged plummeting oxygen saturation levels of at least 10 patients, alerting the doctors to change treatment modalities and adjust oxygen flow rate.

Called Dozee, the device is connected to the pulse oximeter on a patient's finger which measures oxygen saturation. It is also connected to the internet, enabling remote monitoring using a dashboard and mobile phone app.

Dr Avinash HR, General Physician, ESI Hospital, Rajajinagar, said they monitor patients via  control room. "Whenever patients are lying down, their heart rate and respiration rate is available for monitoring in the control room 24/7. Based on the day-long data graphs, we are able to evaluate if the patients' condition is worsening or improving," he said.

"When there's an oxygen saturation dip, alert goes out to duty doctor and in-charge doctor in real time via messages," Dr Avinash added. 

These sensor-sheets have been given free of cost because of a grant received by Dozee. They will be soon be deployed in Bowring hospital in Bengaluru and government hospitals in Hubballi and Dharwad.

Pritish Gupta, Chief Operating Officer, Dozee, said, "Heart and respiration rate are usually measured by contact-based methods like an ECG machine and respiratory inductance plethysmography. With Dozee, no contact is required."