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2.
IEEE Internet of Things Journal ; 9(13):10668-10675, 2022.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-1901474

ABSTRACT

In order to design effective public health policies to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, local governments and organizations must be able to forecast the expected number of cases in their area. Although researchers have developed individual models for predicting COVID-19 based on sensor data without requiring a test, less research has been conducted on how to leverage those individual predictions in forecasting virus spread for determining hierarchical predictions from the community level to the state level. The multilevel adaptive and dynamic biosensor epidemic model, or m-ADBio, is designed to improve on the traditional susceptible–exposed–infectious–recovered (SEIR) model used to forecast the spread of COVID-19. In this study, the predictive performance of m-ADBio is examined at the state, county, and community levels through numerical experimentation. We find that the model improves over SEIR at all levels, but especially at the community level, where the m-ADBio model with sensor-based initial values yielded no statistically significant difference between the forecasted cases and the true observed data meaning that the model was highly accurate. Therefore, the m-ADBio model is expected to provide a more timely and accurate forecast to help policymakers optimize the pandemic management strategy.

3.
Cyborg Bionic Syst ; 20222022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1848132

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated methods to facilitate contactless evaluation of patients in hospital settings. By minimizing in-person contact with individuals who may have COVID-19, healthcare workers can prevent disease transmission and conserve personal protective equipment. Obtaining vital signs is a ubiquitous task that is commonly done in person by healthcare workers. To eliminate the need for in-person contact for vital sign measurement in the hospital setting, we developed Dr. Spot, a mobile quadruped robotic system. The system includes IR and RGB cameras for vital sign monitoring and a tablet computer for face-to-face medical interviewing. Dr. Spot is teleoperated by trained clinical staff to simultaneously measure the skin temperature, respiratory rate, and heart rate while maintaining social distancing from patients and without removing their mask. To enable accurate, contactless measurements on a mobile system without a static black body as reference, we propose novel methods for skin temperature compensation and respiratory rate measurement at various distances between the subject and the cameras, up to 5 m. Without compensation, the skin temperature MAE is 1.3°C. Using the proposed compensation method, the skin temperature MAE is reduced to 0.3°C. The respiratory rate method can provide continuous monitoring with a MAE of 1.6 BPM in 30 s or rapid screening with a MAE of 2.1 BPM in 10 s. For the heart rate estimation, our system is able to achieve a MAE less than 8 BPM in 10 s measured in arbitrary indoor light conditions at any distance below 2 m.

4.
J Am Coll Emerg Physicians Open ; 2(6): e12619, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1589123

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Emergency clinicians face elevated rates of burnout that result in poor outcomes for clinicians, patients, and health systems. The objective of this single-arm pilot study was to evaluate the feasibility of a Transcendental Meditation (TM) intervention for emergency clinicians during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and to explore the potential effectiveness in improving burnout, sleep, and psychological health. METHODS: Emergency clinicians (physicians, nurses, and physician-assistants) from 2 urban hospitals were recruited to participate in TM instruction (8 individual or group in-person and remote sessions) for 3 months. Session attendance was the primary feasibility outcome (prespecified as attending 6/8 sessions), and burnout was the primary clinical outcome. Participant-reported measures of feasibility and validated measures of burnout, depression, anxiety, sleep disturbance, and stress were collected at baseline and the 1-month and 3-month follow-ups. Descriptive statistics and linear mixed-effects models were used. RESULTS: Of the 14 physicians (46%), 7 nurses (22%), and 10 physician-assistants (32%) who participated, 61% were female (n = 19/32). TM training and at-home meditation practice was feasible for clinicians as 90.6% (n = 29/32) attended 6/8 training sessions and 80.6% self-reported meditating at least once a day on average. Participants demonstrated significant reductions in burnout (P < .05; effect sizes, Cohen's d = 0.43-0.45) and in symptoms of depression, anxiety, stress, and sleep disturbance (P values < .001; Cohen's d = 0.70-0.87). CONCLUSION: TM training was feasible for emergency clinicians during the COVID-19 pandemic and led to significant reductions in burnout and psychological symptoms. TM is a safe and effective meditation tool to improve clinicians' well-being.

5.
Viruses ; 13(11)2021 11 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1502534

ABSTRACT

Obesity is a key correlate of severe SARS-CoV-2 outcomes while the role of obesity on risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection, symptom phenotype, and immune response remain poorly defined. We examined data from a prospective SARS-CoV-2 cohort study to address these questions. Serostatus, body mass index, demographics, comorbidities, and prior COVID-19 compatible symptoms were assessed at baseline and serostatus and symptoms monthly thereafter. SARS-CoV-2 immunoassays included an IgG ELISA targeting the spike RBD, multiarray Luminex targeting 20 viral antigens, pseudovirus neutralization, and T cell ELISPOT assays. Our results from a large prospective SARS-CoV-2 cohort study indicate symptom phenotype is strongly influenced by obesity among younger but not older age groups; we did not identify evidence to suggest obese individuals are at higher risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection; and remarkably homogenous immune activity across BMI categories suggests immune protection across these groups may be similar.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/immunology , Obesity/complications , Obesity/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Adolescent , Adult , Age Factors , Body Mass Index , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/physiopathology , Female , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Male , Middle Aged , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Young Adult
6.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(19)2021 Sep 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1444200

ABSTRACT

Given the continent's growing aging population and expanding prevalence of multimorbidity, polypharmacy is an increasingly dire threat to the health of persons living in Africa. The COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated these issues. Widespread misinformation, lack of vaccine access, and attempts to avoid being infected have resulted in increases in Africans' willingness to take multiple prescription and nonprescription medications and supplements. Issues with counterfeit pharmaceuticals and the relatively new recognition of emergency medicine as a specialty across the continent also create unique challenges for addressing this urgent public health need. Experts have called for more robust pharmaceutical regulation and healthcare/public health infrastructure investments across the continent. However, these changes take time, and more near-term strategies are needed to mitigate current health needs. In this commentary, we present a nonexhaustive set of immediately implementable recommendations that can serve as local strategies to address current polypharmacy-related health needs of Africans. Importantly, our recommendations take into consideration that not all healthcare providers are emergency medicine trained and that local trends related to polypharmacy will change over time and require ever-evolving public health initiatives. Still, by bolstering training to safeguard against provider availability biases, practicing evidence-based prescribing and shared decision making, and tracking and sharing local trends related to polypharmacy, African healthcare providers and public health practitioners can better position themselves to meet population needs. Furthermore, although these recommendations are tailored to Africans, they may also prove useful to providers and practitioners in other regions facing similar challenges.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Polypharmacy , Aged , Aging , Health Personnel , Humans , Pandemics , Public Health , SARS-CoV-2
7.
JAMA Netw Open ; 4(3): e210667, 2021 03 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1116912

ABSTRACT

Importance: Before the widespread implementation of robotic systems to provide patient care during the COVID-19 pandemic occurs, it is important to understand the acceptability of these systems among patients and the economic consequences associated with the adoption of robotics in health care settings. Objective: To assess the acceptability and feasibility of using a mobile robotic system to facilitate health care tasks. Design, Setting, and Participants: This study included 2 components: a national survey to examine the acceptability of using robotic systems to perform health care tasks in a hospital setting and a single-site cohort study of patient experiences and satisfaction with the use of a mobile robotic system to facilitate triage and telehealth tasks in the emergency department (ED). The national survey comprised individuals living in the US who participated in a sampling-based survey via an online analytic platform. Participants completed the national survey between August 18 and August 21, 2020. The single-site cohort study included patients living in the US who presented to the ED of a large urban academic hospital providing quaternary care in Boston, Massachusetts between April and August 2020. All data were analyzed from August to October 2020. Exposures: Participants in the national survey completed an online survey to measure the acceptability of using a mobile robotic system to perform health care tasks (facilitating telehealth interviews, acquiring vital signs, obtaining nasal or oral swabs, placing an intravenous catheter, performing phlebotomy, and turning a patient in bed) in a hospital setting in the contexts of general interaction and interaction during the COVID-19 pandemic. Patients in the cohort study were exposed to a mobile robotic system, which was controlled by an ED clinician and used to facilitate a triage interview. After exposure, patients completed an assessment to measure their satisfaction with the robotic system. Main Outcomes and Measures: Acceptability of the use of a mobile robotic system to facilitate health care tasks in a hospital setting (national survey) and feasibility and patient satisfaction regarding the use of a mobile robotic system in the ED (cohort study). Results: For the national survey, 1154 participants completed all acceptability questions, representing a participation rate of 35%. After sample matching, a nationally representative sample of 1000 participants (mean [SD] age, 48.7 [17.0] years; 535 women [53.5%]) was included in the analysis. With regard to the usefulness of a robotic system to perform specific health care tasks, the response of "somewhat useful" was selected by 373 participants (37.3%) for facilitating telehealth interviews, 350 participants (35.0%) for acquiring vital signs, 307 participants (30.7%) for obtaining nasal or oral swabs, 228 participants (22.8%) for placing an intravenous catheter, 249 participants (24.9%) for performing phlebotomy, and 371 participants (37.1%) for turning a patient in bed. The response of "extremely useful" was selected by 287 participants (28.7%) for facilitating telehealth interviews, 413 participants (41.3%) for acquiring vital signs, 192 participants (19.2%) for obtaining nasal or oral swabs, 159 participants (15.9%) for placing an intravenous catheter, 167 participants (16.7%) for performing phlebotomy, and 371 participants (37.1%) for turning a patient in bed. In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, the median number of individuals who perceived the application of robotic systems to be acceptable for completing telehealth interviews, obtaining nasal and oral swabs, placing an intravenous catheter, and performing phlebotomy increased. For the ED cohort study, 51 individuals were invited to participate, and 41 participants (80.4%) enrolled. One participant was unable to complete the study procedures because of a signaling malfunction in the robotic system. Forty patients (mean [SD] age, 45.8 [2.7] years; 29 women [72.5%]) completed the mobile robotic system-facilitated triage interview, and 37 patients (92.5%) reported that the interaction was satisfactory. A total of 33 participants (82.5%) reported that their experience of receiving an interview facilitated by a mobile robotic system was as satisfactory as receiving an in-person interview from a clinician. Conclusions and Relevance: In this study, a mobile robotic system was perceived to be acceptable for use in a broad set of health care tasks among survey respondents across the US. The use of a mobile robotic system enabled the facilitation of contactless triage interviews of patients in the ED and was considered acceptable among participants. Most patients in the ED rated the quality of mobile robotic system-facilitated interaction to be equivalent to in-person interaction with a clinician.


Subject(s)
Delivery of Health Care/methods , Emergency Service, Hospital , Hospitals , Patient Care/methods , Patient Satisfaction , Robotics/methods , Triage , Adult , Aged , Boston , COVID-19 , Catheterization , Feasibility Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Phlebotomy , Physical Examination , Surveys and Questionnaires , Telemedicine
8.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 1018, 2021 02 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1085426

ABSTRACT

Antibodies serve as biomarkers of infection, but if sustained can confer long-term immunity. Yet, for most clinically approved vaccines, binding antibody titers only serve as a surrogate of protection. Instead, the ability of vaccine induced antibodies to neutralize or mediate Fc-effector functions is mechanistically linked to protection. While evidence has begun to point to persisting antibody responses among SARS-CoV-2 infected individuals, cases of re-infection have begun to emerge, calling the protective nature of humoral immunity against this highly infectious pathogen into question. Using a community-based surveillance study, we aimed to define the relationship between titers and functional antibody activity to SARS-CoV-2 over time. Here we report significant heterogeneity, but limited decay, across antibody titers amongst 120 identified seroconverters, most of whom had asymptomatic infection. Notably, neutralization, Fc-function, and SARS-CoV-2 specific T cell responses were only observed in subjects that elicited RBD-specific antibody titers above a threshold. The findings point to a switch-like relationship between observed antibody titer and function, where a distinct threshold of activity-defined by the level of antibodies-is required to elicit vigorous humoral and cellular response. This response activity level may be essential for durable protection, potentially explaining why re-infections occur with SARS-CoV-2 and other common coronaviruses.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/blood , Female , Humans , Immunity, Humoral/immunology , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Male , Middle Aged , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Viral Vaccines/immunology , Young Adult
9.
Med (N Y) ; 1(1): 139-151.e4, 2020 12 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-988787

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Due to supply chain disruption, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused severe shortages in personal protective equipment for health care professionals. Local fabrication based on 3D printing is one way to address this challenge, particularly in the case of products such as protective face shields. No clear path exists, however, for introducing a locally fabricated product into a clinical setting. METHODS: We describe a research protocol under Institutional Review Board supervision that allowed clinicians to participate in an iterative design process followed by real-world testing in an emergency department. All designs, materials used, testing protocols, and survey results are reported in full to facilitate similar efforts in other clinical settings. FINDINGS: Clinical testing allowed the incident command team at a major academic medical center to introduce the locally fabricated face shield into general use in a rapid but well-controlled manner. Unlike standard hospital face shields, the locally fabricated design was intended to be reusable. We discuss the design and testing process and provide an overview of regulatory considerations associated with fabrication and testing of personal protective equipment, such as face shields. CONCLUSIONS: Our work serves as a case study for robust, local responses to pandemic-related disruption of medical supply chains with implications for health care professionals, hospital administrators, regulatory agencies, and concerned citizens in the COVID-19 and future health care emergencies. FUNDING: : This work was supported by the Harvard MIT Center for Regulatory Sciences, NIH/NCI grants U54-CA225088 and T32-GM007753, and the Harvard Ludwig Center. M.-J.A. is a Friends of McGovern Graduate Fellow.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Equipment and Supplies, Hospital/standards , Personal Protective Equipment/standards , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Hospitals , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2
10.
Clin Appl Thromb Hemost ; 26: 1076029620943671, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-676150

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection (COVID-19) is known to induce severe inflammation and activation of the coagulation system, resulting in a prothrombotic state. Although inflammatory conditions and organ-specific diseases have been shown to be strong determinants of morbidity and mortality in patients with COVID-19, it is unclear whether preexisting differences in coagulation impact the severity of COVID-19. African Americans have higher rates of COVID-19 infection and disease-related morbidity and mortality. Moreover, African Americans are known to be at a higher risk for thrombotic events due to both biological and socioeconomic factors. In this review, we explore whether differences in baseline coagulation status and medical management of coagulation play an important role in COVID-19 disease severity and contribute to racial disparity trends within COVID-19.


Subject(s)
African Americans , Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/ethnology , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/ethnology , Thrombophilia/ethnology , Venous Thromboembolism/ethnology , African Americans/genetics , Anemia, Sickle Cell/blood , Anemia, Sickle Cell/ethnology , Anticoagulants/therapeutic use , Blood Proteins/analysis , Blood Proteins/genetics , COVID-19 , Clinical Trials as Topic , Comorbidity , Coronavirus Infections/blood , Coronavirus Infections/complications , Factor VIII/analysis , Female , Fibrin Fibrinogen Degradation Products/analysis , Genetic Association Studies , Genetic Predisposition to Disease , Healthcare Disparities , Humans , Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic/blood , Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic/ethnology , Male , Patient Selection , Pneumonia, Viral/blood , Pneumonia, Viral/complications , Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide , Prevalence , Renal Insufficiency, Chronic/blood , Renal Insufficiency, Chronic/ethnology , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2 , Social Determinants of Health , Socioeconomic Factors , Thrombophilia/blood , Thrombophilia/drug therapy , Thrombophilia/etiology , Venous Thromboembolism/blood , Venous Thromboembolism/etiology , Venous Thromboembolism/prevention & control
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