11. May 2020
Inside the 202xHealth Labs Team: Technology to support the medical diagnosis in the COVID-19 pandemic
written by 202xHealth Labs Co-Founder & Chief Medical Officer Dr. med. Wolfgang-Paul Tigges.
About the author: Wolfgang is a specialist in surgery , looking back on an outstanding career with more than 30 years of experience as a medical doctor and medical director, leading medical units and clinics across Germany.
With 202xHealth Labs, a beyond thinking healthcare & longevity venture studio, he and his team envision, validate and launch disruptive new ventures for the future of healthcare and longevity.
The need for technology in the COVID-19 pandemic to support the medical diagnosis
What important findings remain to me after the first phase of the still ongoing pandemic of COVID-19 infection as a medical doctor, knowing the processes, challenges and daily routines of my colleagues in hospitals?
First, more than 20 % of infections are asymptomatic or with few symptoms: a simulation study estimates that an astonishing number of more than 40 % of overall transmissions occur before symptoms start. Secondly, we see a dramatic disease progressions in at-risk patients: advanced age, basic diseases of the cardiovascular system, diabetes and cancer are characteristics for highly vulnerable populations. And third, the COVID 19 infection is mild in 80% of cases, in 15% of cases with signs of hypoxic respiratory insufficiency and leads to intensive care in 5% of cases. COVID-19 can lead to pneumonia of varying degrees. The deceased had comorbidities (hypertension, obesity, diabetes, respiratory diseases, chronic respiratory diseases, etc.). renal insufficiency, tumor diseases).
How COVID-19 is challenging the medical treatment
So what do these characteristics therefore mean for medical treatment? Accordingly, the problems in the current situation need to be focused on declining the numbers of infections and the resulting limitation of the lockdown to three areas: First, we especially need to identify infection carriers with few symptoms, so that isolation prevents further spread of the infection. Secondly, we need to take special precautions in the area of the most vulnerable population groups in order to avoid the threat of dramatic disease progression in this population group. And third, we need technology to enable a close monitoring of infected patients in the quarantine area so that a clinical treatment can be started as soon as possible if symptoms worsen.
Strategies to contain the spread of the virus
In this phase, increasing PCR testing is favoured by politicians and the limitations of the lockdown are reduced. These measures are important and correct.
However, we believe that we should focus on another aspect regarding the characteristics of the infection and tackle the spread at its origin: The containment of the so called “asymptomatic” outbreak: infections spread by people that do not subjectively feel any symptoms yet, but are highly infections.
Technology to early-detect COVID-19
But how could software help to limit the spread with regard to the findings and characteristics of the infection? A software that can recognize the first symptoms early on, maybe even before the patient subjectively recognizes any symptoms of a COVID-19 infection, would be an effective measure: Not everyone is aware of changes in breathing or coughing as a symptom of an infection. Early signs of a worsening of symptoms with a known infection can oftentimes be detected too late, especially in the area of old people’s homes and nursing homes. Therefore we have decided to work on a solution that addresses the problem at its origin developing a software, that could show the changes at an early stage by recording biomarkers like voice streams.
In addition to selective test procedures, which only allow a statement for the moment, software can continuously record characteristics. This would allow early indications of the beginning of an infection. The test procedure would be initiated at an earlier stage, allowing early isolation and transparency of the infection chains. In facilities like nursing homes or in industry, the software could record symptoms and their early changes. An early hospital treatment could be initiated for the benefit of the patient.
We at 202xhealth are driven by the desire to validate vocal biomarkers to early detect COVID-19. Donate your Vocals now and follow us on our journey.
About Vocals For Science
Vocal biomarkers have an amazing potential in reforming diagnostics through their accuracy, speed and cost-effectiveness. We’re studying the correlation between respiratory diseases and vocal biomarkers like voice, breathing and coughing noises in Germany & Europe.
We believe that by analyzing the voice, breathing and coughing noises beyond what our ears can hear, we can unveil correlations that would enable the healthcare sytem to detect COVID-19 indepentend of locations in a fast and cost-effective way using the everyday technology that is in our smartphones.
With are developing Artificial Intelligence methods and technique to correlate the voice with the symptoms of the COVID-19. The study is being conducted under scientific standards and with highest German Data Protection standards.
Join us now and help to fight COVID-19 by donating your voice for the science.
About the Team behind
Vocals for Science is a research and software development project operated by an multidisciplinary team of medical experts, scientists, software engineers, data scientists and entrepreneurs that have teamed up together in the Venture Studio 202xHealth Labs to envision and validate the future of healthcare and longevity.
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