COVID-19 pneumonia and biosensor device

Case contributed by Dr Ashesh Ishwarlal Ranchod

Presentation

The patient presented with a nonproductive cough and dyspnea and was admitted with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR positive a week earlier on conservative home treatment and monitoring.

Patient Data

Age: 50 years
Gender: Male

There are mid to lower zonal reticular infiltrates and ill-defined ground-glass opacity in a confirmed SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR positive patient

There is a biosensor projected over the left hemithorax in an oblique position. The superimposed device image on the frontal projection demonstrates the dual poles of the device giving a sort of lemniscate or figure of eight shape.

X-rays of the biosensor

X-ray

X-ray images of an actual device were taken.

This unit has a single zinc-air battery on the one pole versus the patient's unit that had three button batteries in a cloverleaf formation.

The opposite pole houses the circuitry of the medical device.

Photograph of the biosensor device.

It has a lemniscate or figure of eight shape.

The one pole houses the single zinc-air battery and the opposite pole has the sensor circuitry.

Disclosure: I, Ashesh I Ranchod, have no actual or potential ethical or financial conflict of interest in relation to this device. This case is not intended to be a personal endorsement or recommendation of this product.

This is a diagram from the VitalPatch instructions for use (IFU) document for patients and clinicians.

The positioning of the device on our patient was incorrect however still captured appropriate data to warrant urgent hospital admission due to clinical deterioration on home treatment.

Disclosure: I, Ashesh I Ranchod, have no actual or potential ethical or financial conflict of interest in relation to this device. This case is not intended to be a personal endorsement or recommendation of this product.

Case Discussion

During the COVID-19 pandemic, biosensors have become increasingly utilized as a part of a home monitoring and management tool. This is an example of the VitalPatch biosensor.

This biosensor is a disposable, wireless, battery-operated wearable device. The unit is worn overlying the left hemithorax and lasts for seven days.

The unit may have a single zinc-air battery (higher capacity) as per the dedicated device images or an alternative battery configuration as in the actual example on the presenting patient having a cloverleaf pattern of three-button (zinc or lithium ) batteries. 

This unit measures eight vital signs including heart rate, heart rate variability, single-lead ECG, respiratory rate, temperature, body posture, fall detection, and activity. The unit can integrate blood pressure, weight, and oxygen saturation when linked to additional compatible devices.

Remotely monitoring the above vital signs prevents repeated healthcare worker exposure to SARS-CoV-2.

Importantly, this unit is not MRI compatible and can cause potential burn injury to the patient or cause mechanical damage to the MRI and its components. It can also cause ongoing artifacts due to metallic fragments in the MRI tunnel and table mechanism. It is easily removed before imaging and reattached post the MRI examination.

The unit is somewhat waterproof and can be worn during bathing or showering.

Initial Chest X-ray contributed by Dr M.N. Patel, Johannesburg, South Africa.

Disclosure: I, Ashesh I Ranchod, have no actual or potential ethical or financial conflict of interest in relation to this device. This case is not intended to be a personal endorsement or recommendation of this product.

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