Royal Philips and BioIntelliSense have won a $2.8 million contract to trial the use of biometric wearable devices for the detection of pre-symptomatic COVID-19 cases.
The contract has been issued by the U.S. Department of Defense through a Medical Technology Enterprise Consortium (MTEC), with the work to be carried out in collaboration with the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus.
It will take the form of a clinical study revolving around BioIntelliSense’s FDA-approved BioSticker device. The BioSticker is designed to measure various vital signs and physiological biometrics, and will be given to 2,500 study participants who have recently been exposed to someone with COVID-19 or experiencing its early symptoms.
BioIntelliSense’s solution will be integrated with Philips’ remote patient monitoring offerings to facilitate the cloud-based collection of medical data.
“The medical-grade BioSticker wearable, combined with advanced diagnostic algorithms, may serve as the basis for identifying pre- and very early symptomatic COVID-19 cases, allow for earlier treatment for infected individuals, as well as reduce the spread of the virus to others,” asserted BioIntelliSense CEO James Mault.
This isn’t the first example of the U.S. military’s experimentation with biometric wearables in the fight against COVID-19, nor is it Philips’ first foray in such a collaboration: the company also embarked on a study with the Defense Innovation Unit and the Defense Threat Reduction Agency earlier this year. That effort involved a Garmin smartwatch and the biometric Oura ring.
“Key industry and academic partnerships provide DoD a timely opportunity to field medical-grade wearables capable of high-frequency physiologic surveillance,” explained Commander Christopher Steele, USAMRDC’s Director of the Military Operational Medicine Research Program. “Our goals are to capitalize on mature, wearable tech and validate predictive algorithms to identify COVID-19 positive individuals that have yet to show clear medical symptoms.”
The study will require participants to wear the BioSticker continuously for 14 days, and will be overseen by BioIntelliSense CEO James Mault, MD, FACS; and Vik Bebarta, MD and Professor of Emergency Medicine-Medical Toxicology and Pharmacology at the University of Colorado, Anschutz School of Medicine.