Due to the outbreak of the 2019 novel Coronavirus and the shock to the healthcare systems, it is critical to conduct fundamental research and scientific studies on the development of smart and scalable technologies that can be produced rapidly and in large scales for (a) continual in-home and in-hospital objective tracking of multiple symptoms using wearable sensors, (b) detecting early health anomalies from the measured multiple symptoms, and (c) predicting potential adverse events from the measured historical data. This project will address the aforementioned aims to transform the current subjective infrequent telemonitoring for COVID19 patients to continuous objective monitoring and help to reduce the burden on the health care system and the corresponding social and economic impacts. The successful development and deployment of the wearable device will further open doors to conducting fundamental research on the temporal evolution of COVID19 symptoms and behavior.
The project will develop a wireless smart Internet of Things (IoT) necklace, containing multimodality sensors that can accurately and objectively track multiple vital symptoms of respiratory malfunction and infection, covering a large spectrum of COVID19 symptoms. It will be capable of recording and telereporting, the sound and vibration dynamics due to breathing and coughing together with the body temperature, heart rate, and fatigue-related mobility. In addition, peripheral oxygen saturation (SpO2) will be measured and fused with the collected data by the IoT necklace. The project will also develop novel machine learning models to detect early health anomalies in the multidimensional biosignal space and predict the upcoming adverse events over a future temporal horizon based on the past time-series captured by the device. By partnering with industry, this technology can be used not only for COVID-19 but also for patients with other causes of pneumonia and other respiratory conditions, including lung cancer. The project will generate a unique transdisciplinary educational environment by conducting workshops and undergraduate projects with a focus on promoting STEM-related activities within underrepresented groups.
This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.