Science and Technology

e-CoVig: a COVID-19 symptom tracker developed at Técnico

The project led by the Institute for Systems and Robotics will be one of the projects funded by FCT – Research 4 COVID-19.

The e-Covig project will be supported by FCT, through the Research 4 COVID-19 funding. The project is led by the Técnico research centre, Institute for Systems and Robotics (ISR), in partnership with researchers from the Cardiovascular Centre of Universidade de Lisboa (CCUL), the Faculty of Medicine of ULisboa, Instituto de Telecomunicações (IT), College of Health Technology of Coimbra (EsteC) and BrainAnswer. The e-Covig project got the maximum funding provided by FCT, amounting to 30 thousand euros.

The project is coordinated by professor João Sanches, ISR researcher and Técnico professor (Department of Bioengineering) and proposes to develop a remote COVID-19 symptom tracker. Based on technology already in development, e-CoVig will provide, through a low-cost technological solution, a rigorous and real-time tracking of COVID-19 symptoms, namely body temperature and respiratory function, as well as other relevant clinical data, for the diagnosis of the disease.

The e-CoVig platform is based on simultaneous pairing of an eHealth platform aimed at processing physiological data with multiple data acquisition systems based on mobile phones of individuals under clinical surveillance, due to suspicion of having contracted the new coronavirus.

According to professor João Sanches “this data collection is very important to monitor people in quarantine or diagnosed with the disease, as these two conditions imply extreme home isolation and deprivation of freedom, depending on a rigorous assessment of symptoms”.

The platform can be an important support to health authorities, namely the Directorate-General for Health (DGS), in the management of patients with confirmed COVID-19. “The main goal is to facilitate the patient-public health system interaction, protect health workers from infection, increase long-term monitoring and accurate diagnosis of COVID-19, expand automated monitoring and create automated notifications”, as mentioned in ISR statement.

The project will start on 1st May and will continue until July.

In addition to e-CoVig, 65 more projects were selected, covering a wide range of topics on COVID-19: diagnosis and prevention, clinical and epidemiological studies or therapy.

FCT’s Research 4 COVID-19 funding will support projects with a total €1.8 million. The Evaluation Committee decided to allocate 36% of the financial support for diagnosis, 17% for clinical and epidemiological studies, 21% for prevention, 9% for therapy and 17% for other related areas.