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WAVE: Wearable-based Risk Assessment for COVID-19 inpatients

To provide effective care for COVID-19 inpatients, clinical practitioners need systems that monitor patient health and subsequently allow for risk scoring. Existing approaches for risk scoring in COVID-19 patients focus primarily on intensive care units and use specialized medical measurement devices, but not for general wards. 

Our project WAVE (Wearable-based Risk Assessment for COVID-19 inpatients) aims at developing a risk score for COVID-19 inpatients in general wards based on consumer-grade wearables (smartwatches). Due to their low cost and ease of use, consumer-grade wearables allow for a scalable monitoring system. The wearables monitor heart rate, heart rate variability, and respiration frequency. Based on these physiological measurements, our risk score assesses patient outcomes, i.e., the probability of hospital discharge and intensive care unit admission. To evaluate the effectiveness of our system for risk scoring, we conducted a single-center, prospective study based on 40 inpatients with COVID-19 in a general ward of a tertiary referral center in Switzerland. In the future, consumer-grade wearables such as smartwatches may further offer monitoring capabilities for inpatients with other diseases.

WAVE is a collaboration of the Inselspital Bern (Department of Emergency Medicine, and Department of Diabetes, Endocrinology, Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism) as well as the Bosch IoT Lab and Center for Digital Health Interventions (CDHI) at ETH Zurich and the University of St. Gallen.

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Simon Föll
Simon FöllPh.D. candidate and doctoral researcher
Martin Maritsch
Martin MaritschPh.D. candidate and doctoral researcher