Image Source: CBC Canada

A team from the University of Toronto has created a new way for health-care workers to monitor COVID-19 patients — without having to set foot in their hospital rooms.

The university got a call from Mount Sinai hospital with a requirement to figure out a way to monitor vital signs both continuously and remotely.

The students developed a raspberry pi based continuous remote monitoring system for monitoring the status of the patients without the direct intervention of the nurses.

They attached a standard fingertip probe, already in use in hospitals to monitor vital signs, to a “very, very small computer about the size of a credit card,”

That simple computer, called a Raspberry Pi, can then connect to the internet — allowing health-care workers to check on patients from any nursing station computer, or on their smartphone.

The concept is very simple, the finger clip monitors the respiratory status of the COVID-19 patients. The clip detects the light absorbed by the patient’s blood. The colour vary depending upon the oxygen level in the blood and this is the key factor to monitor. This data will be captured from the finger clip by the Raspberry pi and it gets transmitted to the devices in the nursing station.

The prototype was successful based on several trial deployments made in the Mount Sinai hospital.