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NCKU creates new wearable device for thermal screening to detect infection

April 20, 2020

The HEARThermo, a watch-like wearable device, can continuously monitor body surface temperature and heart rate to provide real-time data and decision support for early fever detection and point-of-care of suspected cases in the COVID-19 pandemic. The product was developed by an interdisciplinary group of NCKU professors with expertise in medicine, IoT, big data, and AI, as well as an industrial partner. 
The interdisciplinary NCKU team includes Prof. Ko Nai-Ying, head of the Department of Nursing; Prof. Ko Wen-Chien, deputy superintendent of NCKU Hospital; Prof. Chen Po-Lin, head of the Center for Disease Control; Prof. Chuang Kun-Ta, assistant professor of the Department of Computer Science and Information Engineering; Prof. Kao Hung-Yu, dean of the Department of Computer Science and Information Engineering; and Prof. Yu-Chen Shu, assistant professor of the Department of Mathematics. 
Thermal screening has become a standard protocol to detect early sign of infection. Identifying individuals with elevated body temperature, who should then be further screened with diagnostic tests, can help reduce the spread of viruses.  
This HEARThermo system attracted attention during the COVID-19 epidemic for its function in early detection of fever in suspected cases. Potential partners include hospitals, transportation companies, and long-term care organizations. The research team is also interested to collaborate with international partners to provide early detection of suspected patients and help to prevent the rapid spread of COVID-19 in other countries in Europe, the United States, Southeast Asia, and etc. 
For future study, the team aims to expand the applications of HEARThermo with the support of IoT technology. The team is currently developing prediction model of body surface temperature and smart cloud service for different population groups. 


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