coronavirus illinois

UI Health Pilot Program Uses Biosensors, Artificial Intelligence to Monitor Coronavirus Patients

The program allows nurses to monitor high-risk coronavirus patients who are isolating at home.

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It could be the future of coronavirus care.

“The technology is sophisticated enough that we're going to see things that the nurse can take care of before the patient feels the symptoms,” said Gary Conkright, CEO of physIQ.

The Chicago-based company makes pinpointIQ, a system made up of wearable biosensors and artificial intelligence technology that tracks a patient’s physiological data. Together with the Chicago Medical Society, physIQ and UI Health are now teaming up to use the technology to help coronavirus patients.

“We asked them to help us find a provider in the Chicago area that addresses the underserved community, because they are being hit hardest,” Conkright said.

A majority of employees and patients at UI Health are minorities.

“They have some of the same risk factors that our primary service area has, and so hypertension, lung disease, such as asthma, said UIC’s Dr. Terry Vanden Hoek, Chief Medical Officer at UI Health and head of the Department of Emergency Medicine at the College of Medicine.

UI Health is offering the physIQ technology for free to employees who test positive for coronavirus and are in isolation at home. In addition, they are also starting a pilot program for patients with COVID-19 with risk factors such as obesity and heart or lung conditions and who are isolating at home.

The pinpointIQ system will monitor the vital signs through a wearable biosensor that can detect changes in health status. The system then notifies advanced practice nurses who will monitor the data and alert the patient and a primary care provider if there are changes that could indicate worsening of a condition.

“With an earlier warning, we can prevent the need to go to the intensive care unit to be on a ventilator,” Vanden Hoek said.

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