COVID-19 ISO Insights

Telemedicine Being Deployed in Response to Coronavirus Spread

March 9, 2020

By: David Geller, CPCU

Mobihealthnews has reported on a series of technological developments, such as telemedicine and 5G, that are being incorporated into the diagnosis of novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Here are a couple of examples included in this article of remote treatments being used throughout the world:

Israel

In preparation of the re-entry of 12 Israeli passengers that were onboard the Diamond Princess, a cruise ship that reportedly was quarantined in Japan for several weeks due to COVID-19, Mobihealthnews reports that at least three vendors in Israel are doing the following:

Longtime remote monitoring company Datos, whose platform the center used to develop a monitoring program and treatment protocols, and Tyto Care, a new partner who will provide the devices and the consumer-friendly user experience, will come together so patients conduct exams without medical staff present.

A third solution, from recent Teladoc acquisition InTouch Health, is a robotic telemedicine cart called Vici equipped with a camera, screen and medical equipment that can be sent into a quarantined patient area and controlled remotely by a doctor or nurse.

A separate Mobihealthnews article points out that this platform “is designed to make it easy to create new programs without needing outside help,” providing an example of the adaptability and responsiveness of telemedicine technology that could be beneficial in high-urgency situations.

Shanghai, China

Per Mobihealthnews, the Shanghai Public Health Clinical Center (SPHCC) and an AI startup launched a product that could do the following:

The system enables intelligent diagnosis and quantitative evaluation of CT images of COVID-19 through image algorithms, and grades the severity of various pneumonia diseases of local lesions, diffuse lesions and whole lung involvement. In addition, it accurately quantifies the cumulative pneumonia load of the disease through quantitative and omics analysis of key image features such as the morphology, range and density of the lesion.

Telemedicine as a Tool to Limit Spread

Telemedicine also appears to have the ability to help prevent spread of COVID-19. MedCityNews notes that the majority of patients that seek medical assistance are at low risk to actually have the virus. However, if they go to a hospital for treatment, their risk for being inflicted with COVID-19, or other viral infections, may increase.

Telemedicine could be used to treat these patients at their homes and minimize their chances of exposure. According to MedCityNews, this approach has already proven to be “very successful” during the annual seasonal influenza outbreaks.

5G Technology Being Used For Remote Diagnosis

According to Business Insider, a Chinese networking equipment maker “supplied, installed, and optimized both outdoor and indoor 5G networking and other communications equipment for the West China Hospital of Sichuan University.” This equipment would reportedly, in part, support remote video consultations.

The larger bandwidth that 5G is capable of providing, per the article, enables more patients to be treated simultaneously.