Tech companies target temperature-monitoring patches for Covid-19

Patch is about the size of small bandage and powered by a specially designed microchip


Reuters May 27, 2020
PHOTO: REUTERS

A group of tech companies is working on a patch about the size of small bandage that could be worn to monitor for the elevated body temperatures that can sometimes signal the onset of Covid-19.

The patch would be powered by a specially designed microchip that will be made in Minnesota at a chip factory operated by SkyWater Technology in collaboration with Ohio-based chip design firm Linear ASICs and New York investment firm Asymmetric Return Capital.

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The patch is intended to be worn on the skin and to connect wirelessly to a smartphone to monitor a person’s body temperature, the companies said.

The group aims to produce a device to monitor temperatures remotely that can be manufactured in high volumes.

“This will be especially important as we head into flu season later this year,” Bryan Wisk, a founding partner at Asymmetric Return Capital, said in a statement.

The work is part of a broader partnership with two other firms: Software maker SensiML, a subsidiary of QuickLogic Corp, and Upward Health, a provider of in-home health care.

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The companies hope to use artificial intelligence to analyse signals such as the sounds of coughs to identify unique patterns for Covid-19 symptoms. Those findings could then be used to create sensor-based systems that could screen for the virus and slow its spread.

“There is a tremendous need for better pre-diagnostic screening tools as return-to-work measures are put into place across the US and worldwide,” Chris Rogers, the chief executive of SensiML, said in a statement.

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