Mobile Applications for Round-the-Clock Remote Monitoring of Lung Function in Patients with COVID-19

COVID-19, a disease caused by a severe acute respiratory infection of coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which spread rapidly around the world and claimed many lives. The lungs are the main organs, which are affected by a person suffering from COVID-19 and a severe condition (pneumonia) often leads to death. Therefore, continuous monitoring of lung condition and blood oxygen levels in patients with COVID-19 can save many lives.

We have developed HealthyLungs tools that allow physicians to simultaneously remotely monitor the lungs of many patients in hospital wards (those under observation and those in critical condition) without direct contact with them, and to integrate intelligent functionality to warn physicians of dangerously low oxygenation levels, as well as those being treated at home.

Patients are equipped with personal pulse oximeters connected to their smartphones. Doctors have access to patient data from mobile applications on their smartphones. Each doctor has their own group of patients.

The same tools provide patients with COVID-19 the ability to independently monitor pulmonary function, allow them to obtain test results and recommendations for their improvement.

The monitoring system includes: a sensor network of wireless pulse oximeters and linked smartphones with the HealthyLungs P mobile application installed, which are used to interact with wireless pulse oximeters and to process the results of monitoring the condition of patients; HealthyLungs D doctors’ mobile applications to monitor lung function of patients with COVID-19 and to warn doctors of dangerously low oxygenation level.

Mobile applications provide the following main functions: assignment of patients to doctors; automatic collection of data on the condition of patients' lungs without their participation; remote monitoring of blood oxygen levels in patients with COVID-19; remote doctor monitoring of heart rate in patients with COVID-19; accumulation of control results and archiving of data history for each patient; monitoring 24 hours a day and without contact between the patient and the doctor; the presence of a function of warning the doctor about the dangerously low oxygen level in the patient's blood; ensuring the possibility of self-monitoring by patients of their lung function.

Development status: In the current version, the HealthyLungs tools interact with pulse oximeters running Android OS.

For example, when patients equipped with Garmin personal heart rate monitors they must install the Garmin Connect app from Google Play Market on their smartphones. Garmin bracelets measure oxygenation automatically at night and manually during the day, with the participation of the patient or his attendant. Garmin smart watches can measure oxygen completely automatically.

The purchase of measuring devices for testing mobile applications was financed by the L’Agence universitaire de la Francophonie AUF Foundation within the grant for the project “Applications mobiles pour la surveillance 24h /24 de la fonction pulmonaire chez les patients atteints de COVID-19”.