Covid-19 has evolved into a pandemic affecting around 4 mio. individuals and killing three hundred thousand of patients up to now. In a first phase, for those infected mild or more severe symptoms evolve such as myalgias, fever, cough as well as taste and smell loss. A minority will progress in a second phase characterized by breathlessness, severe fatigue and exercise imcompetence requiring hospitalization in most such cases and in some intensive management including ventilation.
It is important to detect early changes in lung function before stage-3 occurs and to precisely monitor the respiration functions, oxygen saturation and body temperature. A new generation of tele-medical applications for guided home monitoring of Covid-19 patients will have this capacity as it directly and precisely monitors breathing in combination with an assessment of the body’s oxygen saturation and temperature – all crucial parameters for early diagnosis of a pulmonary involvement of covid-19.
It goes without saying that early detection and hospitalization for those at risk of pulmonary decompensation will be important and become crucial as effective drugs are currently being tested (i.e. Tocilizumab, Remdesivir among others) will become clinical practice. Of note, digital telehealth solutions are now available for home-based applications for guided self-monitoring of Covid-19 patients in recovery . Digital healthcare therefore, can fill an urgent diagnostic gap in the current epidemic.
Prof. Thomas F. Lüscher, FRCP
Chairman of the Board STBL