As India continues to maintain a lockdown to fight the coronavirus pandemic, the crisis is putting immense pressure on the country’s healthcare infrastructure. With an increasing number of COVID-19 cases, India is running out of PPEs, hazmat suits, masks, testing kits and facilities, ventilators, etc. to support the treatment of patients and safety of healthcare workers.
India’s huge population and limited medical resources mean conducting COVID-19 tests on the correct groups is critical. Chennai-based healthcare startup MedIoTek Health Systems aims to help with a coronavirus prescreening tool that helps prioritise sets of people who need the COVID-19 test.
Speaking to YourStory, Sharmila Devadoss, Founder and Managing Director at MedIoTek Health Systems, said B2B prescreening tool VinCense is an Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) platform that can screen major COVID-19 risk parameters such as the respiratory rate, skin temperature, oxygen saturation, pulse rate, and blood pressure in two minutes.
Apart from this, third-party devices such as glucometer, ECG etc. have also been integrated to monitor other conditions such as diabetes and hypertension, which are said to make people more vulnerable to COVID-19 . The device also provides the patient’s BMI and cardiovascular risk score.
“A single device can be used for screening many patients; it can be disinfected amid screenings. The monitoring feature is mainly targeted at high-risk individuals and/or bedridden patients,” Sharmila said.
How does VinCense work?
Sharmila explained that VinCense can be used for screening and monitoring of COVID-19 suspects. The idea is to identify people with symptoms and gauge if they could be infected with the coronavirus. However, the device does not confirm if a person is COVID-19 positive.
The wearable device screens risk factors such as respiratory rate, skin temperature, oxygen saturation, pulse rate, and blood pressure, and saves all data in the cloud. This can then be accessed via the VinCense mobile app. Depending on the readings, the device categorises patients in mild risk, moderate risk, moderate-severe risk, and severe risk categories.
According to Sharmila, patients who are “mild risk” might be asked to self-isolate themselves, while people under moderate risk and above are advised to take the COVID-19 test. This prescreening enables the healthcare sector prioritise COVID-19 tests in a more targeted manner, saving resources.
“The data can be shared with healthcare professionals through the mobile app so doctors and nurses can maintain a safe social distance from the suspect as well,” Sharmila said. “Monitoring is extremely useful in this situation as doctors can monitor COVID-19 patients remotely. The data is updated on the app at a set regular interval, thereby reducing the risk for the frontline workers.”
Scaling up to meet demand
Last week, MedIoTek was nominated by Bengaluru-based incubator Centre for Cellular and Molecular Platforms (C-CAMP) as a deployment-ready COVID-19 innovation.
Sharmila said VinCense has been out in the market for over two years now, and is mainly used for occupational health compliance.
“Before the lockdown, we had done a marketing campaign and received three orders for the product. We are getting a lot of orders right now as well, including global interest. We are looking to scale up in order to meet the demand,” Sharmila said.
The product is manufactured in India, but the continued lockdown has resulted in difficulty in manufacturing the parts. Due to this, a part of the manufacturing process is now happening in China.
“Our vendors are in close contact with logistics companies and believe that they can ship the units to India within the next week,” Sharmila explained.
(Edited by Teja Lele Desai)
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