A clinical team in Boston has reported being able to monitor a Covid-19 patient remotely using a Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) developed device called Emerald.

Emerald analyses wireless signals in the environment using AI to infer people’s vital signs, sleep and movement. It has been deployed over multiple hospitals and care homes, including with a Covid-19 patient at Heritage Assisted Living in Boston.

The device was able to show when the patient’s breathing rate went down from 23 to 18 breaths per minute, as well as indicate when her sleep quality was improving and when she was able to walk more quickly around her apartment as she recovered.

Heritage Assisted Living program director of mental health services William McGrory said: “It’s clear that, with these high-risk elderly patients, they would greatly benefit from us being able to passively gather medical data over time when it is not possible to interface with each person directly.”