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Sensor approved for detecting coronavirus heart problems

A stick-on device to sense if hydroxychloroquine is harming your heart.

VitalConnect VitalPatch

The COVID-19 pandemic has steered us toward a lot of "new normals," one of which may be closer monitoring of our vital signs. Apple Watches, Fitbit bands, Omron Heartguides and various glucose monitors are the first wave, but more comprehensive clinical-grade monitoring may have just become more likely. 

Now playing: Watch this: Wearable EKG machine can tell if coronavirus is harming...

VitalConnect recently received an FDA Emergency Use Authorization for its Vital Patch to be used to monitor for heart issues caused by COVID-19 or treatments for it, like hydroxychloroquine. It's also used to closely monitor patients who've had certain heart valve procedures that carry serious risks during the crucial first week of recovery at home after. 

VitalConnect's VitalPatch is one example of hospital grade gear that is packaged to go. "We've essentially miniaturized the ICU, from a monitoring perspective, to a biosensor the size of a dime," says Peter van Haur, CEO of VitalConnect. "We have the ability to monitor ECG, continuous temperature, respiration rate, activity and posture." The VitalPatch platform can also pull in data from blood oxygen sensors, weight scales and blood pressure monitors, via Bluetooth, for a complete health picture.   

VitalConnect dashboard

A dashboard of the data harvested wirelessly from the VitalPatch. This is formatted in a clinical interface, but the same data can be shaped for many different audiences, including the wearer.


The question is whether sensors like the VitalPatch or a new respiratory sensor developed at Northwestern University will break out of their clinical roots into common consumer use as a way to move from the annual checkup toward something almost constant. The medical community sees value in that, but also fears an overload of data. "I think we'll get here down the road, but right now we have to understand how much information is too much information," says van Haur. "We have the technology. It's always around logistics, who watches (the data) and who pays for it."

Peter van Haur

Peter van Haur, CEO of VitalConnect, thinks the technology is ready for more constant, clinical-grade monitoring of our health.


VitalConnect CEO Peter van Haur had a lot more to share about the future of wearable medical sensors -- check out his full conversation with Brian Cooley above.

"Now What is a video interview and panel series with industry leaders, celebrities and influencers covering the major changes and trends impacting business and how consumers connect in the "new normal" 2020 world and beyond. There will always be change in our world, there will always be technology helping us navigate that change, and we'll always discuss surprising twists, turns, and potential solutions."  

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.