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Smart masks from Singapore to monitor vital signs and signs of illnesses including Covid-19

2020 12 04 smart mask photoProfessor Chen Xiaodong from NTU (left) and Professor Loh Xian Jun from IMRE showcasing the smart mask which allows the wearer's real-time data to be transmitted to a smartphone via Bluetooth.


Scientists from A*STAR and the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) have developed an integrated monitoring system that can be easily attached to any face mask in order to monitor the wearer for health indicators associated with COVID-19. The inspiration for the system came around the circuit breaker period, when it was observed that front-line workers had to enter isolation wards of COVID-19 patients to monitor their vital signs. The researchers are planning to test the system in clinical trials and bring it to the market in future. The story was covered by local dailies including, Straits Times, Radio 95.8FM, Channel Newsasia, Lianhe Zaobao etc. on 11 September.

The sensors can detect a wearer’s vital signs, including blood oxygen saturation, blood pressure, heart rate and skin temperature. The data can be used to watch for potential illnesses, including COVID-19. Researchers said their invention could help health care providers remotely monitor the conditions of their patients as well as help prevent frontline workers from being infected. Professor Loh Xian Jun, Executive Director of the Institute of Materials Research and Engineering (IMRE) at A*STAR said the mask has an inbuilt LED device that allows it to shine light through the skin and onto the capillaries. The device would then measure the change in size of capillaries, in order to monitor blood pressure. The researchers said the sensors are reusable and can be sewn onto any mask.


Link to news article published on 11 September 2020 in Straits Times:
https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/health/scientists-here-develop-smart-mask-to-monitor-vital-signs

Link to news article published on 26 November 200 in CGTN:
https://news.cgtn.com/news/324d7a4d35514464776c6d636a4e6e62684a4856/index.html

Link to video published on 26 November 2020 in South China Morning Post:
https://www.scmp.com/video/asia/3111476/smart-masks-singapore-can-help-monitor-patients-signs-illness-including-covid-19