Local governments and hospitals in Japan use a variety of remote monitoring devices to monitor coronavirus patients recovering at home or at designated hotels during a pandemic.
The device includes innovative technologies such as a shirt that measures the patient’s heart rate and a bed that tracks respiratory function.
Also, according to a team at St. Luke’s International University in Tokyo, which developed its own remote nursing system, such devices could even play a role in reducing the risk of infection for overloaded healthcare providers.
“When used effectively, it can reduce the risk of face-to-face and outpatient (COVID-19) infections,” said Tomoko Kamei, a professor of gerontological nursing who heads SLIU’s gerontological nursing system development team. “This system can be applied to the treatment of coronavirus cases in the worsened home.”
Developed by Kyoto-based textile manufacturer Mitsuto Co., Ltd., this shirt uses a special thread that attaches a small sensor to conduct electricity to measure heart rate and perform an electrocardiogram in real time.
The data can be sent to a patient, family member or other caregiver, or healthcare professional using a special app or by email. When an abnormality such as a person falling is detected and a distress signal is sent, an alarm sounds.
Kyoto Prefecture has acquired a Mitsufuji shirt for remote nursing of COVID-19 patients recovering at a hotel. This allows your healthcare provider to respond immediately if the patient’s condition changes significantly.
Tokyo-based Paramount Bed sells a “smart bed system” that uses sensors attached to the bottom of the bed to monitor a patient’s respiratory function, heart rate, and sleep status.
The sensor is sensitive to the subtle movements that your body makes with each breath. The data is displayed on a bedside monitor that the patient can view and is sent to the hospital nurse station on a regular basis. An alarm is triggered in an emergency.
Besides using beds to remotely monitor patients at home, some hospitals get beds so that nurses can observe coronavirus patients at the station without frequent visits and direct checks. I am. In Saitama prefecture near Tokyo, beds were used for patients staying at hotels last year.
Apple Inc. Watches that constantly track blood oxygen levels, such as the Apple Watch and Blood Oxygen apps, are also gaining in popularity, but technically they are not medical devices. A sudden drop in oxygen saturation may indicate an exacerbation of the condition of respiratory illness and is essential for tracking oxygen levels.
Fitbit Inc in the United States. Has a clock with sensors that shine red and infrared light on the skin and blood vessels of the wrist, and uses reflected light to bleed with hypoxic blood that reflects more infrared light than red light. Estimate the amount of oxygen in, and do the opposite, richly oxygenated blood.
However, experts say that both watches were developed to monitor the general health of the wearer during training and are not suitable for making medical decisions.
Kamei’s team at SLIU has developed a remote wireless system that uses a patient-controlled tablet to record medical history, such as blood oxygen saturation, using a pulse oximeter. The data is automatically sent to the university nurse monitoring station.
The nurse checks the data and confirms the patient’s concerns via video chat. The information is then shared with the physician who evaluates the course of treatment.
Some local governments distribute medical pulse oximeters while COVID-19 patients are recovering at home or in hotels, but there is a shortage of supplies.
“It’s popular with users,” says Kamei. “They say they can rest assured that they will be watched over from a distance.”
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