Wearables on the Frontline: Helping the Fight against COVID-19

by Stephanie Tomsett | 2Q 2020 | IN-5799
Wearables, in particular healthcare devices (such as cellular, Bluetooth, or Wi-Fi connected blood pressure monitors, continuous glucose monitors, pulse oximeters, and electrocardiogram monitors), smartwatches, and activity trackers, have often been used in medical trials to help healthcare professionals monitor the vitals of a large number of patients simultaneously, both in and out of the hospital, often focusing on specific healthcare issues. COVID-19 is no exception, with a number of wearable companies, platform companies, and healthcare companies working together on a number of different projects across a number of regions using wearable devices to aid with tracking the progress of the virus or monitoring the vital statistics of potential sufferers. The wearable trials and deployments that record vitals and monitor symptoms alert medical professionals if a patient’s condition worsens. This becomes particularly important when the number of hospital beds is limited and patients are sent home, ensuring that the seriously ill are cared for in hospital while the less ill are still monitored when at home. With COVID-19, these wearables also help to reduce the amount of unnecessary contact between the seriously ill and medical staff, who are at serious risk of being exposed to the virus and potentially transmitting it to other vulnerable patients.

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