Media and Publications

Published Research
Pulse Oximetry for Monitoring Patients with Covid-19 at Home — A Pragmatic, Randomized Trial

...Among patients with Covid-19, the addition of home pulse oximetry to remote monitoring did not result in a greater number of days alive and out of the hospital than subjective assessments of dyspnea alone.

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Comparative Effectiveness of an Automated Text Messaging Service for Monitoring COVID-19 at Home

COVID Watch is associated with a 64% relative reduction in the risk for death and that 1 life was saved for every 400 patients enrolled—or about 1 every 4 days during peak enrollment weeks.

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Remote Monitoring of Patients with Covid-19: Design, implementation, and outcomes of the first 3,000 patients in COVID Watch

To manage a large and heterogenous population of patients with confirmed or presumed Covid-19, but well enough to remain at home, the University of Pennsylvania Health System (UPHS) developed COVID Watch, a program to monitor for worsening dyspnea or other concerning symptoms. 

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Media Articles

Penn Medicine study proves technology is not always useful

Giving COVID patients the option to monitor their pulse oximetry remotely did not result in mA remote patient monitoring program launched by Penn Medicine to treat COVID-19 patients at home is working fine and proving its value. Adding technology didn’t make it any better…

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Remote Pulse-Ox Monitoring No Help for COVID Patients

Giving COVID patients the option to monitor their pulse oximetry remotely did not result in more days alive out of the hospital compared to patients who self-diagnosed their own dyspnea, a randomized trial found…

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An Accelerated Hospital Observation Pathway to Reduce Length of Stay for Patients With COVID-19

To reduce hospital LOS for patients with COVID-19 and ensure adequate post discharge monitoring, we implemented the COVID Accelerated Care Pathway (CACP). The CACP consists of a hospital observation protocol for patients with moderate-severity COVID-19 infection and enrollment in a text message–based remote monitoring service following discharge from the hospital.

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Automated Text-Based Symptom Monitoring With Rapid Clinician Triage for Patients With Cancer and Suspected or Confirmed COVID-19

Patients with cancer are at higher risk for COVID-19 infection, morbidity, and mortality compared with the general population. A text-based symptom-monitoring program that reduces unnecessary acute care encounters and identifies patients with cancer requiring escalation may be generalizable to other cancer care settings.

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Texting saved lives during Covid. What does that mean for health care’s future?

Despite the ongoing push to increase the number of vaccinated people in the U.S., about 80,000 people will be diagnosed today with Covid-19. Most of them won’t need to be hospitalized. Instead, they will manage their care at home…

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How a Simple Text Message Program Can Help Save People with COVID-19

...Dr. Monica Gandhi, professor of medicine at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF), feels that this “watch program” may be very useful for patients with other illnesses besides COVID-19.  “I can see it being implemented for patients with influenza or other respiratory viruses,” said Gandhi.

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Automated text messaging service significantly improves outcomes in patients with COVID-19

Patients with COVID-19 who enrolled in an automated text messaging system with twice daily check-ins were 68% less likely to die than those who did not use it.

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Penn finds that using automated texts to monitor COVID-19 patients at home saved lives

…On average, patients in COVID Watch who went to the emergency department at Penn did so three days earlier in the course of their illness than those in usual care. They also started treatment with steroids, which can prevent an overreaction of the immune system, earlier. “We think that is the mechanism by which we prevented deaths,” Chaiyachati said.

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$2.5 Million Grant Supports Penn Medicine Study of COVID Watch’s Impact on Health Disparities

Penn Medicine ’s COVID Watch team has received a $2.5 million grant from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) to study the program’s impact, particularly among Black and Latinx patients whose communities have endured significant disparities during the pandemic.

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Press release »

Passionate Pioneers with Mike Biselli: Expert Coronavirus Updates with Dr. David Asch

As we continue our fight against COVID-19, healthcare leaders and innovators are at the forefront of this battle to ensure we are equipped with the right arsenal to overcome one of the biggest public health crises of our lifetimes.

Dr. David Asch, Executive Director of the Penn Medicine Center for Health Care Innovation, and his team are among the leaders creating and implementing game-changing innovations during this pandemic. In this podcast, he dives deeply into Penn Medicine’s COVID Watch technology and their COBALT program.

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An ecosystem of innovation fosters tech-based solutions to COVID-19 challenges

COVID Watch provides patients a lifeline so they can get prompt support when needed. “We found that about 15% of COVID-19 patients enrolled in COVID Watch end up needing some kind of support,” says Anna Morgan, “COVID Watch allows us to be able to monitor and check in on 1,000 patients with  a few nurses, so it’s a really efficient model.”

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Going to the hospital with COVID-19 symptoms can be a tough call. This Penn text program makes it easier.

In normal times, many with those [COVID-19] symptoms would head to the emergency room. But with hospitals scrambling to preserve resources for the sickest patients in a pandemic, how should people with COVID-19 decide whether to go? And can they take steps to keep symptoms from getting worse, maximizing their likelihood of being able to stay home?

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Text-based platform helps Penn Medicine watch over COVID-19 patients safely at home

“We are going to have a lot of patients with coronavirus sheltering in place, and we need to give them the reassurance that Penn Medicine is watching over them,” said David Asch, MD, executive director of the Penn Medicine Center for Health Care Innovation, reflecting on the thought process behind the tool’s development beginning in early March.

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Some COVID-19 patients aren’t getting better. Major medical centers are trying to figure out how to help.

Dr. Jessica Dine, a lung doctor at Penn Medicine in Philadelphia, said she began noticing a subset of COVID-19 patients whose symptoms lingered long after their diagnoses thanks to a hospital program called COVID Watch, a texting service that does daily check-ins with COVID-19 patients at home.

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Penn Medicine checks on self-isolated patients via daily texts

Some Philly medical professionals are now able to keep track of their coronavirus patients who are self-isolating at home through automatic daily texts.

Medical director, Anna U. Morgan MD, explains how COVID Watch keeps track of patients with just a couple of text messages everyday.

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COVIDCast #14 – Rolling out COVID Watch to monitor patients At home

PennHealthX interviews medical director Anna U. Morgan MD about the challenges of implementing COVID Watch, and how patients have been responding.

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