Nemaura Medical Inc (NASDAQ:NMRD), the company behind the SugarBEAT non-invasive continuous glucose monitor, announced a plan on Wednesday to repurpose its device as a continuous temperature monitor (CTM) to track the fever caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19).
SugarBEAT includes a patch worn on the skin to monitor glucose levels, but it also contains a built-in thermistor capable of continuously tracking body temperature through the skin. From there, that data can be transmitted via Bluetooth to a cell phone.
The company is currently exploring ways to expedite the launch of a CTM, including possible partnerships and direct-to-consumer sales. The SugarBEAT device has already received its CE mark from regulators in Europe and is currently in production in the UK.
"We see a significant commercial opportunity to utilise our BEAT platform technology specifically for CTM purposes with data being automatically sent by low energy Bluetooth to a mobile phone app from which it can then be reviewed by the user and/or sent to a family member or caregiver,” Nemaura CEO Faz Chowdhury said in a statement.
“We believe that there are parallels between family members and caregivers remotely monitoring glucose fluctuations in a person, and monitoring fever caused by viral infections, providing a means of remote tracking and intervention. In the current climate we see this as an opportunity to contribute to general wellbeing and patient management," he added.
The coronavirus, in addition to several other diseases, is characterized by a fever, which makes temperature monitoring crucial in detecting the virus and stopping potential spread through early self-isolation. Tracking temperature over time could help physicians analyze the effectiveness of treatments and achieve better outcomes, the company said.
"Body temperature can vary depending on the age of the person, their level of (recent) physical activity, the time the measurement is taken and, importantly, where on the body the temperature is taken,” Chowdhury said.
“For this reason, I believe that the ability to track the temperature continuously over time and measure the rate at which it is rising or falling would be a superior form of monitoring a person than sporadic measurements taken using a more traditional thermometer."
Aside from the coronavirus, the company noted several other potential uses for a CTM, including tracking ovulation to improve the chance of conception and predicting diabetes-related foot complications, which can cause ulcers or even lead to amputation.
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