With a rapid rise in the number of people affected by the COVID-19 epidemic, there are three critical concerns that require close attention – massive strain on the public healthcare system, rise in hospital acquired infections due to high influx of patients and the significant risk the virus poses to the medical fraternity working on the frontlines.
Addressing the concerns of the medical fraternity, three highly qualified women engineers with over 30 years of cumulative experience in technological research and industry, have developed a contactless, Wi-Fi enabled, AI-powered and a remarkably accurate respiration monitoring device called rayIoT.
This device allows doctors to remotely monitor less critical patients while the more serious cases receive greater medical attention.
Working since 2016 on technological solutions that track our breathing, RIoT Solutions, the startup driven by Ranjana Nair, Aardra Kannan Ambili and Sanchi Poovaya, has already developed the raybaby, which is the world’s first non-contact sleep and breathing monitor for babies cited by the likes of CNN and Wired as a home gadget to have in 2019.
RayIoT – Scope
All active rayIoT devices can be connected to one central database that can monitor up to 100,000 patients at a time. By monitoring their respiration rate, all quarantined patients can be smartly categorised into mild, severe and critical cases.
“Shortness of breath is the one symptom that differentiates COVID-19 infections from Flu. And [it is] the only indicator that tells you if the patient is in the mild or severe stage. With rayIoT, we would be empowering task forces with the knowledge to predict, prevent and save people’s lives from a distance,” says Ranjana Nair, Co-Founder and CEO RIoT Solutions.
While many of us have the luxury of isolating ourselves, our healthcare providers don’t. Working around infected patients, they carry a higher risk of catching the virus. Thus, a remote vital tracking system like rayIoT could prove really useful.
How Does rayIoT Work?
In its current form, the product works as a mini-ICU monitoring unit. The AI algorithms will allow doctors and other healthcare professionals to track the respiration rate of multiple patients via an app from anywhere in the world.
“The device needs to be set up at a distance of 3 feet from the patient after which it will proceed to accurately track breathing rate and send the data to the app. The app will give notifications of drastic fluctuations in breathing rate. Caregivers can use this as an indication to establish what the next steps should be with respect to treatment of the patient. In addition to the respiration sensing module, the device is also capable of audio and video streaming. This will be especially useful for monitoring critically ill patients. We can track up to 1 lakh patients at any given point in time,” says a press release recently issued by the startup.
Its monitoring system allows doctors to remotely track less critical patients while seriously ill ones get more attention. Doctors receive alerts in case of any abnormal variations in the patient’s vitals. With respiration rate as a very useful predictive vital, early detection especially among at-risk caregivers is a possibility too. Besides, the device can also be used to effectively monitor patients in home quarantine.
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“It is essentially a non-contact respiration rate tracker. People with less intensive symptoms are usually quarantined in their homes or regular general wards. We are looking at placing units in these places so that doctors can track their respiration rate. Thus, we are aiming to use the respiration tracker to send notifications via an app if there is a massive change in that breathing unit. At which point, doctors can remotely attend patients who are not that critically ill. Each individual device can track one patient,” says Sanchi Poovaya, the COO.
“For every patient detected with COVID-19, rayIoT plans to rent the technology to monitor their health for the 14 days of the prescribed quarantine. With an estimated 49,000 new cases from April to May in India, rayIoT devices can cover 12,500 cases for 14 days (considering even distribution). There are 5,000 deployable devices available which can cover 25% of the infected population over this period. With 10,000 units, 50 per cent of the infected population can be effectively monitored,” claims the startup in its press release.
So far, the device has undergone more than 500 hours of clinical trials and seven million breathing instances during sleep apnoea, asthma, and fever. It has worked very closely with doctors at HCG Hospital in Bengaluru to enhance the device’s usability.
“We have been working closely with the rayIoT team to test their AI-powered monitors in our ICU wards. Their non-contact respiration rate monitor is the need of the hour during these times,” says Anjali Ajai Kumar, the Director of HCG Cancer Specialist Hospital Foundation.
Per unit, which can also be reused for patients, the device costs Rs 19,999, while the rental model is available for Rs 300 per unit per day. As a simple plug and play device, medical professionals on the frontlines need no training in using this device.
“As COVID-19 and other viruses are difficult to diagnose and test, in a pandemic situation, one of the first lines of defense should be pre-screening to reduce the burden on healthcare institutions. rayIoT’s technology enables non-contact breathing tracking at a high level of accuracy which can help precisely with these scenarios,” says Aardra Kannan, the CTO.
At this critical juncture, it’s imperative to find solutions that can ease the burden of healthcare professionals. In that regard, the rayIoT is part of the solution.
(Edited by Saiqua Sultan)
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