Continuous physiological monitoring using wearable technology to inform individual management of infectious diseases, public health and outbreak responses.
Ming DK., Sorawat S., Chanh HQ., Nhat PTH., Yacoub S., Georgiou P., Holmes AH.
Optimal management of infectious diseases is guided by up-to-date information at the individual and public health level. For infections of global importance including emerging pandemics such as COVID-19 or prevalent endemic diseases such like dengue, identifying patients at risk of severe disease and clinical deterioration can be challenging given the majority present with a mild illness. In our article, we describe the use of wearable technology for continuous physiological monitoring in healthcare. Deployment of wearables in hospital settings for the management of infectious diseases, or in the community to support syndromic surveillance during outbreaks could provide significant, cost effective advantages and improve healthcare delivery. We highlight a range of promising technologies employed by wearable devices and discuss the technical and ethical issues relating to implementation in the clinic, with specific focus on low- and middle- income countries. Finally, we propose a set of essential criteria for the roll-out of wearable technology for clinical use.