HCMC uses smartwatches to monitor quarantined people

According to HCMC Committee Minister Nguyen Thien Nhan, the city of Saigon has reported over 140,000 people returning from Da Nang between 1st and 27th July. Da Nang returnees have been ordered to quarantine themselves at home while waiting for their COVID-19 test results, or for further notice if they require hospitalization for COVID-19 treatment.

However, there have been reports of many individuals flouting quarantine rules and roaming outdoors freely, endangering public safety and making it hard for COVID-19 control center staff to trace the pandemic’s spread. Due to the high number of self-quarantined individuals, local medical units as well as police officers are having a hard time enforcing quarantine restrictions.

To make their jobs easier, Quang Trung Software City and TMA have developed wearable technology for COVID-19 quarantined individuals – smartwatches.

Smartwatches tell the wearer’s body temperature and location

Saigon COVID-19 smartwatch_body temp
Image adapted from: Quang Trung Software City/VTV9

The smartwatches, which can be synchronized with wearers’ smartphones, can compile data about the wearer’s real-time health condition and report it to COVID-19 control centers.

Once a wearer’s body temperature exceeds 37°C, the watch will automatically alert COVID-19 control center staff who will arrange for the wearer to get timely medical attention.

Saigon COVID-19 smartwatch_smartphone
Image adapted from: Quang Trung Software City – HTV7

Smartwatch wearers can go about their daily life activities at home as per normal.

smartwatch_location trackImage adapted from: Quang Trung Software City – HTV7

However, the smartwatches will immediately send alerts to the control center the moment the wearers step outside their quarantine areas. When such a situation arises, a medical and police team will be dispatched to the updated location immediately to handle the situation.

smartwatch_admin table
The COVID-19 self-quarantine management system, as seen by an administrator
Image adapted from: Quang Trung Software City – HTV7

These watches have been tested by HCMC medical authorities and are being piloted in the city’s District 12.

Ho Chi Minh City hospitals to restrict inpatient visitors

smartwatch_Cho Ray hospital
Image credit: Bệnh viện Chợ Rẫy

Drawing lessons from the COVID-19 clusters in Da Nang, HCMC Medical Department ordered all hospitals and medical facilities to impose restrictions on visitors on 12th August.

To maintain a safe environment for both patients and medical staff, the number of visitors will be minimized.

In Cho Ray Hospital, only 1 visitor per patient is allowed in the patient care area, and no changes of visitors are allowed for at least 1 week.

smartwatch_home doctor visit
Image credit: VTV4

Local hospitals and clinics are also arranging for medical home visits for elderly patients with chronic illnesses, letting doctors and nurses attend to them at their own homes. This measure aims to reduce the number of outpatients at hospitals and to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Ho Chi Minh City pilots smartwatches to monitor individuals quarantined for COVID-19

Vietnam is at a critical point in dealing with the coronavirus pandemic, and our medical staff are racing against time to suppress the outbreak before more community cases arise.

Since COVID-19 infected patients can be asymptomatic, it’s imperative that we remain vigilant and take the responsibility to keep ourselves and the people around us safe.

Da Nang returnees should responsibly abide by the 14-day-period self-quarantine rules until you receive reports confirming that you’ve tested negative for COVID-19. Let’s all refrain from gathering in crowds, wear masks in public places, and sanitize our hands often.

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Cover image adapted from: Quang Trung Software City – VTV9 and Google Maps (for illustration purposes only)

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