Smart IoT Wearable for Remote Monitoring and Assessment of COVID-19 Patients

The emergence of the COVID-19 disease has led to an unprecedented burden on our medical system. First and foremost, we- are unable to conduct risk stratification for patients who report with signs and symptoms suggestive of the COVID-19 such as dry cough, shortness of breath, headache and a fever. Such type of lower respiratory tract illness could be managed at home without resorting to hospital admission. In this project, we develop a wireless wearable internet of things (IoT) system that enables in-home health monitoring of illness conditions amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Our novel wearable IoT system consists of an array of interconnected smart miniaturized devices, each with a plurality of sensors, including microphones and pulse oximeter. The system constitutes an effective and noninvasive tele-health solution, where the devices are fitted into an apparel such as a shirt or a vest. Machine learning algorithms are employed to extract features from the multi-modal data and provide patients and caregivers with quantitative and objective condition assessment. The project is supported by a Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grant in collaboration with LASARRUS Inc.  

Specific Technical Goals: This project will design a wearable apparel and necessary software algorithms to provide a tool for real-time remote patient monitoring and health assessment of quarantined individuals and patient at home. Our solution is based on a body area sensor network (BASN) which will provide a patient with quantitative and objective data by aggregating the multiple interconnected nodes in the network. In addition, our design will be used to diagnose certain illness conditions of a patient at home to promote Telehealth, by utilizing machine learning algorithms that exploit the unique data features provided by our BASN system. The end result is an affordable noninvasive wearable and software tools that a patient can use at home to monitor their health and diagnose any COVID-19 related illness.

Broader/Commercial Impact: This project will contribute to the ultimate goal of helping patients who suffer illness conditions as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic to receive assistance while reducing the burden on the medical facilities and healthcare providers. The result of this project will lead to a low-cost wearable IoT system that patients can use to facilitate Telehealth. Furthermore, the project will result in a body of knowledge that physicians can leverage. For example, our system can be used as an auscultation device to analyze abnormal breathing sounds from a person, such as rhonchi, wheezing, crackles, and stridor, which detect initial inflammation of the lungs and later stage fibrosis. The commercial potential for the Telehealth market is currently valued at $5.2B and is expected to grow to at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 27.5% to exceed more than $13B by 2024. That projection is likely to be affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and is certainly expected to leap. If interested in volunteering for clinical trial, you can contact LASARRUS Inc.

National Science Foundation ( Award #2030629)

Faculty/Industry Graduate Assistants
  • Wassila Lalouani
  • Rohit Peter
  • Rohit Rai
Recent Papers
  1. L. E. Emokpae, W. Lalouani, M. Younis, and R. N. Emokpae, Jr. "Smart Multi-modal Telehealth IoT System for COVID-19 Patients," submitted to the IEEE Pervasive Computing.