Polish XR company Holo4Med has been working overtime for almost a year to throw its technological might into helping healthcare providers manage the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the most powerful weapons against the pandemic is distancing. This makes hospital overcrowding a great fear.
While XR solutions for remote work and collaboration have been a hero of the COVID-19 pandemic on the enterprise side, it has been difficult for these solutions to be implemented in healthcare. However, Holo4Med, with the Polish Ministry of Health, has come up with a solution in their new PulsoCare platform.
If you’re familiar with this particular ecosystem or a regular reader of ARPost, the Holo4Med name might sound familiar. We covered the award-winning Holo4Labs platform in July of 2019. Both Holo4Med and Holo4Labs are under the TenderHut umbrella. Both of them utilize Microsoft HoloLens hardware and Azure software.
Holo4Labs enables interaction between the user, connected devices, and other lab equipment through a mixed reality display. Holo4Med similarly works with connected medical devices, helping healthcare experts to visualize and contextualize patient data like never before.
With healthcare providers and facilities pushed to the limits by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Holo4Med’s new PulsoCare solution might have come just in time. The solution aims to reduce the draw on care providers’ time and resources while still providing care to patients through remote monitoring of potential symptoms.
“We have been working on solutions to combat the COVID-19 pandemic since the beginning of February 2020,” TenderHut CEO Robert Strzelecki said in a release shared with ARPost.
PulsoCare uses a pulse oximeter to monitor an individual’s vital signs including pulse, blood oxygen saturation, and body temperature. While “pulse oximeter” may sound like a hefty piece of kit, it’s actually a small device that easily, quickly, and painlessly clips to a user’s fingertip. You can even purchase them at drugstores or online for under $50.
The pulse oximeter pairs with a mobile application to collect the information, along with the potential presence of symptoms including headache, cough and sinus symptoms, loss of smell and taste, and anxiety. These symptoms are not detected by the pulse oximeter, but are manually entered within the app by the user.
If a user’s symptoms are potentially worrying, the data is sent to a remote medical team for further consideration and evaluation. If the symptoms are potentially life threatening, PulsoCare notifies the user and calls emergency services.
“First, we created the system which is meant for rapid remote selection of patients in wards dedicated to fighting COVID-19,” said Strzelecki. “Next, the time came to support the patients with telemedicine solutions.”
This solution allows patients who may have COVID-19 to know that they are being monitored without taking up hospital space and staff resources or potentially infecting others or getting infected themselves through unnecessary hospital trips.
COVID and The Changing Healthcare Landscape
While a device remotely sharing medical data may have given users pause a number of years ago, using mobile devices to monitor biometrics has become increasingly standard practice. The use of data sharing in combating the pandemic in particular is also seeing increasing support.
The biggest obstacle to implementation of PulsoCare is the requirement of medical staff to have access to at least one HoloLens. However, because of the low cost and high availability of pulse oximeters, paired with the ubiquity of compatible mobile devices, PulsoCare has huge scaling potential.
With XR technology increasingly playing a role in medicine, specifically when it comes to COVID, it seems inevitable that PulsoCare and solutions like it may become a regular part of the future of healthcare.