Since the outbreak of COVID-19 we have found that those who are most vulnerable to its effects are also the hardest to protect. In nursing homes and long term care facilities across the world, as soon as COVID-19 gets in it sweeps through the facility at great speed. Residents are extremely susceptible and in close proximity to one another, which makes for a deadly combination. In March in Seattle, long term care facilities saw a spike in COVID-19 cases of 172%. Could earlier detection save residents of these facilities?
Currently, the gold standard of testing is temperature. When workers at these facilities come and go they have to have their temperature taken. In some cases nurses are being asked to wear rings that monitor vital signs including temperature in order to gain a better understanding of how the disease progresses and when those first symptoms appear.
Tech companies, health organizations, and data scientists are joining forces to find the missing links in the data already available. There is plenty of data out there, but figuring out what is most relevant and impactful is still tricky because of all the unknowns about this illness.
One company, Megadata, has found a strong correlation between pulse oxygen and COVID-19, and this data has been able to help them find patterns of outbreak up to two weeks before temperature data would show the same.
Until a vaccine or cure is developed, stopping the spread is the only thing we can do to make a difference. Learn more about how data is leading the way in the fight against COVID-19 below.