A device which sticks to your throat like a Band-Aid is intended to help diagnose coronavirus infections by detecting early signs of coughing or breathing difficulties associated with COVID-19.

Northwestern says the device could be particularly valuable as a way to diagnose coronavirus infection in healthcare workers, as it detects symptoms at a very early stage.

Capable of being worn 24/7, the device produces continuous streams of data and uses artificial intelligence to uncover subtle, but potentially life-saving, insights. Filling a vital data gap, it continuously measures and interprets coughing and respiratory activity in ways that are impossible with traditional monitoring systems […]

About the size of a postage stamp, the soft, flexible, wireless, thin device sits just below the suprasternal notch — the visible dip at the base of the throat. From this location, the device monitors coughing intensity and patterns, chest wall movements (which indicate labored or irregular breathing), respiratory sounds, heart rate and body temperature, including fever […]

“The most recent studies published in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggest that the earliest signs of a COVID-19 infection are fever, coughing and difficulty in breathing. Our device sits at the perfect location on the body — the suprasternal notch — to measure respiratory rate, sounds and activity because that’s where airflow occurs near the surface of the skin,” said Northwestern’s John A. Rogers, who led the technology development. “We developed customized devices, data algorithms, user interfaces and cloud-based data systems in direct response to specific needs brought to us by frontline healthcare workers” […]

Not only can the device monitor the progress of COVID-19 patients, it could also provide early warning signals to the frontline workers who are most at risk for catching this remarkably infectious disease. The device offers the potential to identify symptoms and to pick up trends before the workers notice them, thereby providing an opportunity to engage in appropriate precautionary measures and to seek further testing as quickly as possible.

Once a day you peel it off and place it on a wireless charger, which triggers the patch to sync its stored data with a nearby iPad. From there the data is uploaded to a HIPAA-compliant cloud where a proprietary AI algorithm examines it for anomalies related to COVID-19. The device has no external ports for power or connectivity, making it easier to disinfect.

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