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Coronavirus: Stick-on throat patch that detects Covid-19 symptoms

Researchers in the US are developing a wearable throat sensor designed to detect signs of Covid-19 and monitor the progress of sufferers.

Coronavirus: Stick-on throat patch that detects Covid-19 symptoms

A stick-on throat sensor being developed in the United States may be able to spot early signs of Covid-19 and monitor not only the progress of coronavirus sufferers, but also the health of the medical staff exposed to them.

Collects and interprets key data from your body

Created by Northwestern University and Shirley Ryan AbilityLab in Chicago, the sensor - which is a soft, silicone-material patch “about the size of a postage stamp”, Northwestern said - is wearable 24/7.

It is designed to collect key data from your body, then wirelessly transmit this to a cloud where an algorithm detects symptoms of illness.

“The most recent studies published in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggest that the earliest signs of a Covid-19 infection are fever, coughing and difficulty in breathing,” Northwestern’s John A Rogers said.

Our device sits at the perfect location on the body - the suprasternal notch - to measure respiratory rate, sounds and activity because that’s where airflow occurs near the surface of the skin.”

Throat patch being trialled

The sensor is currently being trialled on 25 test subjects, who have been wearing the device for the past two weeks.

We anticipate that the advanced algorithms we are developing will extract Covid-like signs and symptoms from the raw data insights and symptoms even before individuals may perceive them,” said Arun Jayaraman of Shirley Ryan AbilityLab.

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"A new and important tool in the fight against Covid-19"

Dr Mark Huang, a physician at Shirley Ryan AbilityLab, added: “Having the ability to monitor ourselves and our patients - and being alerted to changing conditions in real time - will give clinicians a new and important tool in the fight against Covid-19.

The sensor also will offer clinicians and patients peace of mind as it monitors Covid-like symptoms, potentially prompting earlier intervention and treatment.”

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