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IIT Madras develops patient monitoring solutions for Covid-19



IIT Madras’ Healthcare Technology Innovation Centre (HTIC) and Helyxon, a healthcare startup in IIT Madras Research Park today on August 03, 2020, announced the successful deployment of remote patient monitoring solutions for Covid-19 that they have jointly developed. The device is a first-of-its-kind in the market that does clinically accurate continuous monitoring of four critical parameters Temperature, Oxygen Saturation, Respiratory Rate and Heart Rate.

The device has already reached over 2,000 patients in public and private hospitals, and at homes, with another 5,000 devices in the pipeline. Production is being scaled up to meet the growing demand. The cost of the device ranges from Rs. 2,500 to 10,000 depending on the configuration and parameters.

Features of device to fight Covid-19
The device is completely self-contained, portable, wireless, and can be clipped on to the patient’s finger and data is streamed to a mobile phone or central monitoring system. The temperature is measured at the armpit and blood oxygen level and other parameters at the finger itself. The device is reusable and has a lifetime of over a year. The devices can be used by the hospitals and doctors for patient management beyond Covid-19.

Describing the development process of the device, IIT Madras faculty and Head of Healthcare Technology Innovation Centre (HTIC), Prof. Mohanasankar Sivaprakasam said, “There are several attempts to reposition consumer-type devices like wrist bands and wearables as medical devices. But doctors and hospitals are clear that they can only accept devices with accuracy on par with dedicated patient monitors since these are patient’s vital physiological parameters. It was a big learning and a critical input for us”.

Prof. Mohanasankar Sivaprakasam added, “As a result, the key technical challenge is to engineer the device so that it meets the standards of a medical patient monitor, and yet costs one-tenth and can easily be fitted and used without any training.”

Research and development
The core technology was validated by a year-long multi-centric study at various Chennai-based medical institutions for the accuracy and performance with reference to current standards. Specific to Covid, the reduction of close contact with patients by doctors and nurses, savings in PPE, and monitoring equipment was found to be a significant advantage by hospitals.

Based on the clinical inputs, the team engineered this device in response to demand for low cost, simple and easy to use devices for monitoring patients anywhere at hospital or home.

About devise built to fight Covid-19
Commenting on the product, Vijai Shankar Raja, Founder and MD of Helyxon said, “It is more than a monitoring device. Based on feedback from doctors and hospital management, deployment of OXY2 reduces overall load, stress, and anxiety in the healthcare system, saves hospital beds for severe cases, and increases confidence for patients at home.”

Devise installed in hospitals
NGOs have also come forward to procure these devices for Stanley Medical College Hospital, Institute of Child Health, Institute of Obstetrics and Gynecology, to meet their requirements. The solution is scalable to hundreds of patients monitored by a hospital or a central authority. The software platform seamlessly issues alert escalations for patient’s parameters and can be used for teleconsultations with doctors and hospitals.

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