Researchers at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory have evidence that they can now monitor COVID-19 patients through walls by using wireless signals. This application essentially keeps the patient isolated while protecting doctors, nurses and other medical professionals. Similar technology is presently utilized in radar and Wi-Fi motion detection by monitoring disturbances in the RF field to detect personal movements. The solution is already being used in places like assisted living facilities to track patient and resident movement. The following story describes how this solution can also be used to monitor COVID-19 patients.
A clinical team in Boston this week reported that a device developed by MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), dubbed Emerald, enabled them to remotely monitor a COVID-19 patient’s breathing, movement, and sleep patterns using wireless signals. While Emerald has been deployed in over 200 hospitals, homes, and assistive-care facilities, including Heritage Assisted Living in Framingham, Massachusetts, this is the first time it’s been used to track the progression of the novel coronavirus disease.
The researchers say their study is a small but encouraging step toward treatments that minimize health workers’ exposure while potentially improving health outcomes. Emerald could also allow hospitals and physicians to triage less severe COVID-19 patients by monitoring them in their own homes.