Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - 45

Health & Biotech
Early Warning System for COVID-19 and Flu Using Wearables
The smart ring shows it's possible to detect fever before you feel it.
University of California, San Diego
emperature data collected by wearable
devices worn on the finger can
be reliably used to detect the onset of
fevers, a leading symptom of both
COVID-19 and the flu.
T
A study was conducted of more than
65,000 people wearing a ring manufactured
by Finnish startup Oura that
records temperature, heart rate, respiratory
rate, and levels of activity. The goal
of the study was to develop an algorithm
that can predict the onset of symptoms
such as fever, cough, and fatigue, which
are characteristic of COVID-19. The al -
gorithms could allow public health officials
to act faster to contain the virus'
spread. If wearables could detect CO -
VID-19 early, people could begin physical
isolation practices and obtain testing
to reduce the spread of the virus.
Wearables such as the Oura ring can
collect temperature data continuously
throughout the day and night, allowing
researchers
to measure people's
true
temperature baselines and identify fever
peaks more accurately. Temperature
varies not only from person to person
but also for the same person at different
times of the day.
The study highlights the importance
of collecting data continuously over
long periods of time. The lack of continuous
data is also why temperature
spot checks are not effective for detecting
COVID-19. These spot checks are
the equivalent of catching a syllable per
minute in a conversation, rather than
whole sentences.
The study showed that fever onset
often happened before subjects were re -
porting symptoms and even to those
who never reported other symptoms. It
supports the hypothesis that some feverlike
events may go unreported or unnoticed
without being truly asymptomatic.
Wearables therefore may contribute to
identifying rates of asymptomatic illness
as opposed to unreported illness, which
is of special importance in the COVID19
pandemic.
The data collected has the potential to
be linked with other datasets, making
individual and societal scale models combinable
to further understand the disease.
In the future, researchers plan to
expand their early detection methods to
other infectious diseases such as the flu.
For more information, contact Ioana
Patringenaru at ipatrin@ucsd.edu; 858-8220899.
Magnet-Controlled
Bioelectronic Implant for Relieving Pain
This could make possible embedded devices like a spinal cord-stimulating unit with a
battery-powered magnetic transmitter on a wearable belt.
Rice University, Houston, Texas
ngineers have developed a neural im -
plant that can be both programmed
and charged remotely with a magnetic
field. The integrated microsystem -
MagNI (magnetoelectric neural im -
plant) - incorporates magnetoelectric
transducers that allow the chip to harvest
power from an alternating magnetic
field outside the body.
E
MagNI targets applications that re -
quire programmable, electrical stimulation
of neurons; for instance, to help
patients with epilepsy or Parkinson's disease.
The device integrates magnetoelectric
transducers with CMOS (complementary
metal-oxide semiconductor)
technologies to create a bioelectronic
platform for many applications.
Tissues do not absorb magnetic fields
as they do other types of signals and will
not heat tissues like electromagnetic and
optical radiation or inductive coupling.
Ultrasound doesn't have the heating
Tech Briefs, July 2021
Cov
MagNI is the first neural implant that can be programmed and charged remotely with a magnetic
field. (Credit: Secure and Intelligent Micro-Systems Lab/Rice University)
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Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021

Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - Intro
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - Sponsor
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - Cov1
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - Cov2
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - 1
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Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - 3
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Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - Cov3
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - Cov4
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