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Brendan Keating

Associate Professor, Division of Transplantation, Department of Surgery and Pediatrics
University of Pennsylvania and Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

I am one of the founders of the iGeneTRAiN consortium, and a principal investigator on a number of transplant biomarker studies for adult and pediatric clinical studies. I have had long term collaborations with Professor Mike Snyder of Stanford on a number of genetic and biomarkers transplant projects. He recently developed wearable device algorithms to detect influenza and other infections before symptoms appear. We have repurposed these efforts for transplant patients and their household members to detect infection early and to allow simple interventions.

Summary

The increasing global prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 and the resulting COVID-19 disease pandemic pose significant concerns for clinical management of pediatric and adult solid organ transplant recipients (SOTR). Wearable devices that can measure physiologic changes in heart rate, heart rate variability, body temperature, respiratory and sleep patterns and blood oxygen saturation, have shown utility for the early detection of infection before clinical presentation of symptoms. Algorithms developed recently by our collaborator in Stanford and elsewhere used wearable data to show that SARS-CoV-2 can detectable up to 10 days before clinical symptoms in >80% of adults.

Ongoing studies testing the utility of wearable fitness tracking devices for early detection of SARS-CoV-2 and other infections in the general population are now underway in a number of pediatric transplant sites and we are expanding the effort into a number of adult transplant sites. 

We need help for the following:

  1. Development of transplant specific algorithms to account for the multiple medications, which impact biometrics such as heart rate, temperature and blood pressure, in transplant patients. We are now embarking on a project to monitor up to 2200 transplant subjects and their family members but we need additional support to maximize this study.
  2. To get additional wearable devices to expand these studies further while the pandemic is still worsening.

Why is this important?

Early detection of SARS-CoV-2, influenza, and other pathogens in SOTR, and their household members, could allow early interventions such as self-isolation and early clinical management of relevant infection(s).

Who will benefit?

We envision that these projects will benefit transplant recipients and their families by allowing early detection of infection (for more details on these studies please visit us on www.igenetrain.org)/

Budget

Every $215 buys one wearable device for measurement of heart rate, heart rate variability, temperature, blood pressure, Sat O2, activity, etc.