Photo courtesy of AION Biosystems.

A new medical tool makes use of both artificial intelligence and innovations in wearable device design to provide healthcare providers with an option for remote patient monitoring.

The US Food and Drug Administration gave clearance recently for AION Biosystems’ iTempShield, with device and software capabilities designed to detect early signs of infection.

Although the device is meant for all ages, early detection of illness is crucial for older adults, who are more likely to be at risk from infections. This fact is due to a variety of reasons, including generally weaker immune systems and existing vulnerabilities because of cancer or other conditions.

The device initially will be marketed toward long-term care residents and people living with cancer, the company stated.

Within long-term care facilities, such monitoring could be vital, as older adults are five times more likely than younger adults to have severe sepsis, and nursing home residents are seven times more likely than non-residents to have a severe sepsis diagnosis, AION states.

The quarter-sized wearable iTempShield is meant to go on a users’ chest area and can run for up to two months without needing to be recharged. The device records and uploads data to an electronic medical records platform and can alert both users and healthcare providers when their temperature first begins to rise above normal, the company states.

“With long-term care facilities being asked to do more with less, iTempShield gives them an extra set of eyes,” Sam Barend, AION Biosytems CEO, told McKnight’s. “Our alert system enables care teams to spring to action quickly and head off a more serious condition that could become life-threatening — and mitigate the spread of infectious diseases. iTempShield is an important tool in their arsenal to maximize staff and resources.”

Ellis Medicine, a healthcare provider in upstate New York, currently is using the iTempShield at its Roswell Park Cancer Center in Schenectady, NY.