Developing a Wearable Device that can Monitor the Onset of Covid-19
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Over the course of the pandemic, hospitals nationwide have spent more than $3 billion on personal protective equipment (PPE) for both workers and patients alike, imposing a serious financial strain. Also, disposing of PPE creates waste that significantly pollutes the environment. Wearable devices have been developed to decrease the necessity of PPE as an alternative to recording vital signs; however, they are susceptible to flawed readings and don’t perform equally well on all individuals. Here, I investigated creating a wearable device that could autonomously measure the vital signs that are largely indicative of the onset of Covid-19. The device is a wrist and finger monitor capable of recording the heart rate, blood oxygen saturation, and temperature of patients in a non-invasive manner. The device is constructed by connecting a MAX30102 and MCP9808 sensors to an Arduino Uno. After future developments, it would record the data in a web application for workers to monitor, which could easily be shared through a Bluetooth connection. These sensors would also be linked to an OLED display and an HC-05 Bluetooth module to present and store the updated readings. This device holds prospects for significantly reducing the costs of supply chain goods for hospitals so that more funds can be allocated toward research. It’ll also aid in reducing the ecological footprint of hospitals across the world. The device would be easily accessible to low-income communities, lessening the health crisis in developing and underdeveloped nations.
I created a prototype of the device to test some of its features. I also wrote a proof of concept research paper over my findings. I hope to publish my research paper in high school journals!
In the beginning, my mentor was incredibly helpful in brainstorming project ideas and narrowing down my list by considering practical logistics. He raised important questions that guided my learning. When I faced programming issues with my electronics, I was able to screen share my code and my mentor was able to look over it and explain the finer details of what was happening. He was fully invested in the project as much as I was, and put as much effort into supporting my journey throughout.