BioIntelliSense makes small, adhesive sensors that can monitor a patient’s vital signs. Photo credit: BioIntelliSense

Remote-monitoring startup BioIntelliSense received funding from the U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command (USAMRDC) to see if its wearable sensor “sticker” could be used to detect Covid-19 symptoms early. The Golden, Colo.-based startup, and Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG), received a $2.8 million award to use wearable to identify Covid-19 cases before symptoms appear.

BioIntelliSense received FDA clearance a year ago for a small, adhesive sensor it developed that can monitor a patient’s heart rate, respiratory rate and skin temperature, as well as their gait, body position or coughing. At the beginning of 2020, it struck a partnership with Colorado-based health system UCHealth to use its device leading up to a surgery or for postoperative care.

Now, the companies plan to enroll 2,500 patients into a study, working with the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, to validate the startup’s BioSticker device for early symptom detection. People who are experiencing Covid-19 symptoms or who had a recent exposure to the disease are eligible to participate.

If successful, the technology could be used to maximize military preparedness and have a benefit for the general population, Commander Christopher Steele, Director of the USAMRDC’s Military Operational Medicine Research Program, said in a news release.

Philips, which has a minority stake in BioIntelliSense, had been working with the Department of Defense on remote monitoring technologies long before the pandemic. It had specifically been working on a project to use wearables to catch early signs of a bacterial or viral infection before symptoms appear, with the idea of detecting an unknown agent.

Over the summer, Philips rolled out a version of the system that was specifically designed for Covid-19.

“No one organization will be able to combat Covid-19 alone, but working together, we hope to develop a solution that will allow people to understand if they are in the early stages of illness, and take the appropriate actions to help limit spread and get the treatment they need,” Vitor Rocha, Chief Market Leader of Philips North America, said in a news release. “This could help give people confidence in getting back to school, work, travel, or just coming together as a family.”

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