Global Study Using RPM, mHealth to Treat COVID-19 Patients at Home

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Project Coromec, with roots in Arizona, aims to use mHealth wearables and apps, AI bots and a telehealth platform to identify and treat COVID-19 patients at home, before they become sick enough to need hospitalization.

mHealth strategies

Researchers in Arizona are launching a global study that aims to use mHealth wearables and apps, AI bots and a telehealth platform to monitor and treat COVID-19 patients at home, thereby reducing stress on hospitals.

Project Coromec was developed by Aventyn, a California-based digital health company under the Intel umbrella. The real-time COVID-19 epidemiology registry will use the company’s Vitalbeat remote patient monitoring platform to track patients at home.

“We see a grave need for the immediate development of digital tools for reporting of self-illness, testing, and actions taken by individuals through a mobile phone application that is freely downloadable and allows for geographic monitoring with subject consent at enrollment,” Kris Vijay, MD FACC, Project Coromec’s study chair and medical director at the Institute of Congestive Heart Failure at Abrazo Arizona Heart Hospital and Heart Institute in Phoenix, said in a press release. “Secondly, we call for immediate and mandatory daily hospital census reporting of hospitalized and critical ill COVID-19 patients. We need organized solutions concerning redeployment of physical and human resources where they are needed most to track infection spread, and risk assessment to better utilize critical hospital resources.”

Along with Abrazo Health, other participants in the study include the Arizona State University College of Health Solutions and Sweden’s Karolinskaya Institute, a leading developer of connected health programs in Europe.

The study aims to apply remote patient monitoring to public health and pandemic control programs, with the goal of creating a platform that can safely and reliably treat infected patients at home and reduce hospitalizations.

“Project Coromec aims to enable real-time epidemiology integrating sources of information that include daily if not hourly reporting of cases stratified to indicate levels of infection, asymptomatic positive patients self-quarantined or at home, mild symptomatic positive patients at home, patients hospitalized in medical wards, and ICU and ventilator-dependent illness, as well as demise,” Michael Castro, MD FACP, Project Coromec’s principal investigator and president and staff physician at Arizona-based Arrowhead Internal Medicine, said in the press release. “Actions that could be taken with such reporting of information enables identification of hotspots of suspected new epidemic clusters by patterns of self-reported illness and perceived exposure, capture, and utilization of `drive-by’ community testing that is done on an individual basis.”

The study is the latest in a growing list of projects applying mHealth and telemedicine technology to the pandemic. Others have focused on using wearables and mHealth apps to identify early signs of the virus in front-line healthcare workers and others and in using RPM programs to isolate and treat patients at home.

Researchers here are hoping to identify the best treatment protocols for early intervention.

“Early treatment and risk assessment are gaps that need to be addressed immediately at all stages of COVID19, including viral replication, cytokine storm, and microthrombosis,” Peter McCullough, chief medical officer at the Heart Institute Office of the Baylor and White health systems and a study team member, said in the release. “We urgently need early risk assessment and outpatient treatment with a multi-drug regimen to disrupt viral replication, thereby reducing the risk of progression to high-morbidity cytokine storm and microthrombosis, leading to high hospital admissions and mortality.”

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