Monitoring COVID-19 Patients
Using Novel Wearables Technologies and AI Capabilities
As the COVID-19 pandemic developed, it soon emerged that hospital staff faced significant challenges in identifying/predicting which patients would need critical care. This became increasingly important as COVID-19 increased, stretching the capacity of ward staff to traditionally (manually) monitor patients’ vital signs, a critical element of assessing a patients clinical status. Given some patients with COVID-19 deteriorate rapidly, a key concern was to identify accurately which patients were going to deteriorate.
Wireless, wearable sensors were used to continually collect patients’ vital signs, until the patient was either discharged or admitted to ITU. Together with clinical data and observations, Zenzium is using Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology to look for predictive patterns that could alert medical staff to a patient’s deterioration or provide reassurance that a patient will continue to improve.
The COSMIC-19 study progressed from idea to first patient recruited in 4 months, with 46 patients recruited to date and AI modelling activities ongoing. The study has provided valuable insights into the feasibility and practicality of deploying such wearable technology into busy hospital wards and the potential for use in future multi-centre clinical trials. One publication has already been generated, with more to follow.
As COVID-19 moves to being an endemic infection, we are excited at the potential opportunity for the model we generated to be further developed as a clinical decision support tool. This will hopefully improve clinical outcomes and optimise the efficiency and utilisation of scarce hospital resources.
The collaborative delivery partnership that has successfully been built between Aptus Clinical, Zenzium, The Christie and MFT has secured additional funding to expand and develop these novel wearables and AI capabilities:
- Additional iMATCH funding to recruit an additional 20 patients to COSMIC-19, which includes blood cytokine measurement to see if this extra biomarker information could provide further insights for the predictive capabilities of the AI modelling
- The success of COSMIC-19 has been a consequence of linking key stakeholders within the NHS, The University of Manchester and Industry partners. This team who originally planned to use wearable technology to monitor CAR-T patients has now returned to that initial idea and expanded this to include a wider range of cancer patients in the EMBRaCE trial (Enhanced Monitoring for Better Recovery and Cancer Experience in Greater Manchester).
- Dr Gareth Kitchen, a University of Manchester Academic and Consultant Anaesthetist at MFT, was awarded an NIHR Developments and Skills Enhancement award to fund 50% of his salary for 2 years and further develop skills in Working with Industry and Entrepreneurship working closely with Zenzium and Aptus Clinical.
We are delighted to have been involved with the design and delivery of this innovative study. It felt particularly significant to be working on an exploratory COVID-19 study throughout the pandemic. We are hopeful the utilisation of patient wearables is something we can continue to develop to access more patients across Manchester and beyond.