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The Dutch university hospital UMC Utrecht has designed a wristband that warns of potential infection with coronavirus, even before there are any symptoms. The UMC Utrecht has received a European subsidy of € 10 million for the further development of this device.

The Dutch newspaper AD Utrechts Nieuwsblad reported today that the hospital is currently working on setting up a large-scale test. In that article, professor of clinical research Rick Grobbee says that the wristband measures body temperature, respiration rate and skin humidity. The system also registers when someone suddenly coughs – an important indication of an infection with COVID-19.

Changing parameters may indicate an infection

Changes in those parameters may indicate an infection with COVID-19. Incidentally, the system also gives out an alarm signal if someone has the common flu. Originally, the bracelet was meant to alert women when they were ovulating.

The AD Utrechts Nieuwsblad reported that Grobbee’s main focus was on an early warning system. “The sooner someone is infected, the sooner someone can be quarantined. The wristband can play a major role in curbing the spread of the virus this way. This is especially urgent for healthcare personnel.”

The wristband is worn at night. Data readout is done via a smartphone. If the wristband has signaled a suspected infection, a test should determine whether there is actually an infection with COVID-19.

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About the author

Author profile picture Arnoud Cornelissen has for many years been writing about science and technology in, among others, various Dutch newspapers.