One of the biggest challenges faced during the COVID-19 pandemic is the strain it’s put on healthcare systems, especially the surge of patient demand on facilities. AT&T is powering a remote health solution from Cherish Health that can help offset that burden.
A Cambridge technology innovator, Cherish Health has developed an advanced biosensor that monitors a patient’s respiration, oxygen levels, temperature, and heart rate. The wearable device uses FirstNet® – the only nationwide, high-speed broadband communications platform dedicated to and purpose-built for America’s first responders and the extended public safety community.
It’s built with AT&T in a public-private partnership with the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet Authority) – an independent agency within the federal government. FirstNet provides highly secure coverage and capacity with priority communications.
Cherish Health joins FirstNet as an extended primary user – organizations and agencies that could be called on to help support public safety in day-to-day operations and during emergency response. Extended primary use cases vary widely and include healthcare, public works, essential government services, school security, transportation, utilities, and many others that operate in support of primary public safety entities. Eligibility for extended primary user status is rigorously reviewed before service is approved to help ensure that FirstNet’s unique capabilities remain dedicated to first responders and those who support them.
Cherish Health initially launched its biosensor to help individuals with long-term conditions receive care at home with 24/7 support from their care teams. But when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Cherish Founder and CEO Sumit Nagpal knew the device could also aid healthcare organizations racing to cope with the fast-spreading virus.
“Our connected biosensors can help COVID-19 patients admitted to hospitals to return home sooner, freeing up hospital beds for those who need them,” said Nagpal. “They also help safely monitor individuals who have been diagnosed with the virus while remaining socially isolated in their homes to minimize transmission.”
That’s how a large healthcare system in the Northeast is using the biosensors. The devices are being provided to patients who have either tested positive for COVID-19 or think they are positive due to symptoms and/or exposure. The shipped kits include the biosensor and a smartphone used as a Wi-Fi hub to transmit the data collected from the sensor to a highly secure cloud. The biosensors have a 30-day battery life and are reusable.
Cherish Health has also used its biosensors to monitor and support the health care needs of formerly homeless veterans who live at a Somerville, Massachusetts veterans center.
“Since the start of the pandemic, the importance of telehealth and its benefits has come front and center,” said Joe Drygas, VP of healthcare solutions for AT&T. “From remote patient monitoring to COVID-19 virtual screening to tracking daily living activities and fall detection — virtual care platforms like AT&T’s are helping to transform healthcare delivery by improving patient outcomes, lowering costs and connecting patients to caregivers.”