Current Health and Mayo Clinic Collaborate Using AI Against COVID-19
Jacob Bourne posted on May 05, 2020 |
The move aims to use big data to better understand the disease.
(Patients can wear Current Health monitors at home. Credit: Current Health.)
(Patients can wear Current Health monitors at home. Credit: Current Health.)

Current Health is a remote patient monitoring company that weaves wearable vital sign sensors with virtual medicine on its platform. Leveraging technology against the pandemic, the company has proposed its FDA-approved devices for use by patients at elevated risk for COVID-19 whether they’re at home, out in public or getting treatment at a health care facility. On April 29, Current Health announced a collaboration with Mayo Clinic that would use digital biomarkers used by Current Health’s wearable sensor devices to be analyzed by Mayo Clinic health experts who can evaluate risk and potential treatments for COVID-19. The goal of the collaboration is to ensure patients with the disease have more favorable outcomes and that patients can be better triaged to keep health care systems operating effectively.

“Our collective ability to save lives hinges on our ability to understand this virus quickly. COVID-19 has presented in many ways across different people, which has made it very challenging to understand the virus and how it develops,” said Chris McCann, CEO and Co-Founder, Current Health. “By combining our platform with the deep medical and scientific expertise that exists at Mayo Clinic, we seek to explore both known and novel biomarkers, as well as how they manifest in entirely diverse populations. This will be critical to determining how we define, and enable effective treatment of, this disease.”

Over 40 hospital systems worldwide participate in Current Health’s remote patient monitoring platform and Mayo Clinic’s involvement with the company would deepen during the collaboration by taking on a financial investment role as well as clinical. Mayo Clinic plans to use digital biomarkers collected by Current Health’s devices, which include body temperature, heart rate, oxygen concentration, activity level and bodily posture, to develop AI algorithms able to predict a patient’s risk level for COVID-19 and how severe their symptoms could become. This would allow treatment teams to take a more proactive approach, instead of beginning treatment when the disease has already advanced to the point where a patient needs to be placed on a ventilator.

The remote monitoring also helps keep COVID-19 patients with less severe cases out of hospitals because it enables health care providers to monitor those with mild symptoms remotely, thereby reducing exposure for workers and other patients. The platform is equipped with virtual medicine capabilities so that providers can still communicate with and assess patients.

“Real-world, continuous data—from patients infected and not infected with the disease—is essential to understanding and predicting how the disease presents and evolves,” says Abinash Virk, M.D., an infectious disease expert at Mayo Clinic. “If we are successful in accomplishing our goals, we believe we will improve how patients with COVID-19 are identified, monitored, managed, and ultimately help with their recovery.”

Current Health has an existing patient database consisting of anonymized vital sign data and physiological sensor data from those infected with COVID-19 as well as uninfected patients. This data will combine with a Mayo Clinic algorithm to “provide individualized care to patients,” and ultimately better understand the disease itself.

“Combatting the COVID-19 pandemic is our number one priority,” said Jordan D. Miller, Ph.D., who directs the Center for Surgical Excellence and leads the investigative team at Mayo Clinic.

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