According to an article by Emily Morgan on the ITV News web site:
A month ago Robert Peston and I highlighted the worrying condition known as ‘happy hypoxia’ which has been affecting thousands of coronavirus patients.
It has become apparent over the course of the pandemic that some patients appear absolutely fine and apparently not in distress but have oxygen levels so low they would normally be unconsciousness or even dead.
We highlighted it because medics raised the alarm that many people were getting to hospital too late and should be brought in much sooner.
We’d noticed the mention of what we called ‘Covid-19 hypoxia’ in the medical literature rather more than a month ago, which was one of the reasons why in the middle of April we applied to Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency, for R&D funding to develop a “Covid-19 eHealth Data Acquisition Unit:
Today we are delighted to be able to announce that our application has been successful! We’ll be making a formal announcement in the near future, but getting back to Emily’s article for now:
NHS England told me exclusively they were looking at changing guidelines for 111 call handlers and they were looking at giving patients devices that could monitor their oxygen levels at home.
For the families of those who have died it was a small victory.
Today the NHS has made good its pledge to look at it.
A pilot is now underway in 11 hospital trusts where some Covid-19 patients and at risk patients are being given oximeters.
A “pulse oximeter” is one of the sensors we will be connecting to the “domestic” version of our Covid-19 data acquisition unit, which will use “Artificial Intelligence”, or perhaps more accurately “Machine Learning”, to infer the state of a person’s health from the information it receives from its assorted inputs.
These are really simple devices which clip on your finger and give you a quick and easy reading of oxygen levels in your blood.
The results are pinged via an App back to doctors who can keep an eye on them.
It’s so simple and so clever that Dr Andy Barlow from Watford General Hospital says it will absolutely save lives.
Here’s a picture of one such “life saving” device:
A picture of our very own Covid-19 eHealth data acquisition unit will be available in due course!