Project description

Demographic changes, the abundance of multiple and chronic diseases, as well as possibilities provided by recent electronics, especially combined with information technology, to evaluate and benchmark personal health parameters using connected devices and databases, are the drivers of upcoming healthcare innovations.

Building distributed healthcare systems triggers a market need that welcomes digitalised read-out of disease or health indicators and thus articulates a stronger demand for sensors operating at point-of-care units and even on the fly. With the emergence of the Corona pandemic, the need for the development of such systems have become even more evident, both to alleviate hospitals but also to promote people’s safety. In this regard, mobile health, or ‘mHealth’, i.e., the application of mobile devices, their components and related technologies to healthcare, offers a cost-effective way to improve patients’ access to treatment and advice.

Now, in combination with internet-connected diagnostic devices, it offers novel ways to diagnose, track and control infectious diseases and to improve the efficiency of the healthcare system. The current project combines expertise from Natural, Health, Engineering and Computer Sciences, offering a transdisciplinary approach for the technological development of a personal health monitoring platform including portable electrochemical sensors, a smartphone app and wearables, i.e., connected devices like pulse oximeters and smartwatches.

This set of devices and software will have a user-friendly design, integrating inputs of different nature, aligned to understand the health and social impact of self-tracking and body monitoring in times of pandemic. This affords developing new knowledge of how users interact with connected devices, as well as how perceptions of the body may shift by the use of monitoring technologies in pandemic and viral contexts. The project will form a unique transdisciplinary research constellation using two of MaU’s research centers – Biofilms Research Center for Biointerfaces (BRCB) and the Internet of Things and People (IOTAP) Research Center – as foundation.

This collaboration allows us to address the rapidly developing topic of portables, wearables and eHealth, combining expertise from different parts of the University, which are currently working at separate faculties (HS, TS and KS) with no established research collaborations as of yet. Project goals Two main goals of the project are (i) to design a mobile phone-based monitoring platform including a portable electrochemical biosensor for the direct detection of SARS-CoV-2, combined with SpO2 and physical activity monitoring, and (ii) to test the platform in a social context.