• The lethal COVID-19 has taken more than 11,000 lives
  • China has recorded more than 80,000 cases while Italy has recorded the most number of deaths
  • The FDA recently issued a policy that allows doctors to remotely monitor patients 

Hospitals all over the world are bracing for a high number of patients infected with COVID-19. Despite the safety measures observed in many hospitals, medical workers and front liners are still at high risk of contracting the novel coronavirus. A new but temporary FDA policy could be beneficial in allowing doctors to monitor their COVID-19 patients even if they are at home.

A recent press release from the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) reveals that the regulating body has issued a new policy to address the COVID-19 pandemic. This latest policy enables manufacturers of non-invasive, vital sign, and FDA-cleared devices to widen their use so healthcare providers could utilize them to monitor patients remotely. The new policy covers devices that take body temperature, heart rate, blood pressure, and respiratory rate.

Moreover, the new FDA policy is applicable to certain modifications to the claims, functionality, hardware, software, or indications of FDA-cleared non-invasive monitoring devices used remotely to support the monitoring of patients. The catch, however, is that this policy is only applicable to the duration of the emergency. The notion is to allow doctors to remotely monitor the patient that requires monitoring but allowed to stay at home instead of being exposed to health facilities overcrowded with patients.

Malian researchers get suited up to conduct a coronavirus test at a lab in Bamako
Malian researchers get suited up to conduct a coronavirus test at a lab in Bamako AFP / MICHELE CATTANI

In a time where the virus spares no one, the world needs health workers more than ever. This new but temporary policy issued by the FDA is helpful in making sure that the frontliners saving lives are not putting their lives in grave danger. The idea of remote medical monitoring is not actually new, but with the new directive from the FDA, it looks like it is going to expand in the coming days as hospitals and healthcare workers deal with patients infected with COVID-19.

In just a span of three months, COVID-19 has taken more than 11,000 lives and infected over 286,000 people. The deadly virus that is currently creating havoc is affecting 186 countries all over the world. China has over 80,000 cases and over 3,000 deaths. Meanwhile, Italy has recently recorded over 4000 deaths and has, by far, the most number of deaths due to COVID-19.