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Front Digit Health ; 3: 630273, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1497042


The challenges presented by the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic to the National Health Service (NHS) in the United Kingdom (UK) led to a rapid adaptation of infection disease protocols in-hospital. In this paper we report on the optimisation of our wearable ambulatory monitoring system (AMS) to monitor COVID-19 patients on isolation wards. A wearable chest patch (VitalPatch®, VitalConnect, United States of America, USA) and finger-worn pulse oximeter (WristOx2® 3150, Nonin, USA) were used to estimate and transmit continuous Heart Rate (HR), Respiratory Rate (RR), and peripheral blood Oxygen Saturation (SpO2) data from ambulatory patients on these isolation wards to nurse bays remote from these patients, with a view to minimising the risk of infection for nursing staff. Our virtual High-Dependency Unit (vHDU) system used a secure web-based architecture and protocols (HTTPS and encrypted WebSockets) to transmit the vital-sign data in real time from wireless Android tablet devices, operating as patient data collection devices by the bedside in the isolation rooms, into the clinician dashboard interface available remotely via any modern web-browser. Fault-tolerant software strategies were used to reconnect the wearables automatically, avoiding the need for nurses to enter the isolation ward to re-set the patient monitoring equipment. The remote dashboard also displayed the vital-sign observations recorded by the nurses, using a separate electronic observation system, allowing them to review both sources of vital-sign data in one integrated chart. System usage was found to follow the trend of the number of local COVID-19 infections during the first wave of the pandemic in the UK (March to June 2020), with almost half of the patients on the isolation ward monitored with wearables during the peak of hospital admissions in the local area. Patients were monitored for a median of 31.5 [8.8, 75.4] hours, representing 88.1 [62.5, 94.5]% of the median time they were registered in the system. This indicates the system was being used in the isolation ward during this period. An updated version of the system has now also been used throughout the second and third waves of the pandemic in the UK.

Physiol Meas ; 41(10): 10TR01, 2020 11 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-780288


Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), is rapidly spreading across the globe. The clinical spectrum of SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia requires early detection and monitoring, within a clinical environment for critical cases and remotely for mild cases, with a large spectrum of symptoms. The fear of contamination in clinical environments has led to a dramatic reduction in on-site referrals for routine care. There has also been a perceived need to continuously monitor non-severe COVID-19 patients, either from their quarantine site at home, or dedicated quarantine locations (e.g. hotels). In particular, facilitating contact tracing with proximity and location tracing apps was adopted in many countries very rapidly. Thus, the pandemic has driven incentives to innovate and enhance or create new routes for providing healthcare services at distance. In particular, this has created a dramatic impetus to find innovative ways to remotely and effectively monitor patient health status. In this paper, we present a review of remote health monitoring initiatives taken in 20 states during the time of the pandemic. We emphasize in the discussion particular aspects that are common ground for the reviewed states, in particular the future impact of the pandemic on remote health monitoring and consideration on data privacy.

Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/physiopathology , Monitoring, Physiologic/methods , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/physiopathology , Telemedicine/methods , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Humans , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology
Resuscitation ; 156: 99-106, 2020 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-752902


BACKGROUND: The global pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has placed a huge strain on UK hospitals. Early studies suggest that patients can deteriorate quickly after admission to hospital. The aim of this study was to model changes in vital signs for patients hospitalised with COVID-19. METHODS: This was a retrospective observational study of adult patients with COVID-19 admitted to one acute hospital trust in the UK (CV) and a cohort of patients admitted to the same hospital between 2013-2017 with viral pneumonia (VI). The primary outcome was the start of continuous positive airway pressure/non-invasive positive pressure ventilation, ICU admission or death in hospital. We used non-linear mixed-effects models to compare changes in vital sign observations prior to the primary outcome. Using observations and FiO2 measured at discharge in the VI cohort as the model of normality, we also combined individual vital signs into a single novelty score. RESULTS: There were 497 cases of COVID-19, of whom 373 had been discharged from hospital. 135 (36.2%) of patients experienced the primary outcome, of whom 99 died in hospital. In-hospital mortality was over 4-times higher in the CV than the VI cohort (26.5% vs 6%). For those patients who experienced the primary outcome, CV patients became increasingly hypoxaemic, with a median estimated FiO2 (0.75) higher than that of the VI cohort (estimated FiO2 of 0.35). Prior to the primary outcome, blood pressure remained within normal range, and there was only a small rise in heart rate. The novelty score showed that patients with COVID-19 deteriorated more rapidly that patients with viral pneumonia. CONCLUSIONS: Patients with COVID-19 who deteriorate in hospital experience rapidly-worsening respiratory failure, with low SpO2 and high FiO2, but only minor abnormalities in other vital signs. This has potential implications for the ability of early warning scores to identify deteriorating patients.

Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Triage/methods , Vital Signs , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Female , Hospital Mortality/trends , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Survival Rate/trends , United Kingdom/epidemiology