Deadline: 20 April 2020
The National Research Council of Canada (NRC) is seeking a low cost system (unit cost <$25) that can continuously measure temperature, peripheral capillary oxygen saturation (SpO2), blood pressure (BP), pulse and respiration rates, and transmit this information wirelessly to a base station for COVID-19 patient monitoring in locales including ERs, general wards, communities and homes.
Temperature, SpO2, BP, pulse and respiration rates are used to assess a patient’s health. With some exceptions (e.g. in an ICU), these are not measured continuously in a healthcare facility nor at home. This has consequences: sudden changes that signify rapid deterioration may not be caught in time; subtle trends indicating health changes may not be found until an egregious impact occurs. This is especially relevant to the COVID-19 pandemic, where rapidly increasing numbers of patients and long hospitalization durations are imposing an extreme workload on the healthcare system. While some sufferers do require hospitalization, most do not. To support those at home, accurate data is vital. Such data offers individual and collective benefits. Individually, it will allow home-bound patients and their caregivers to make better decisions as to whether care should be escalated while offering reassurance to those whose condition is stable. Collectively, accurate information will allow public health authorities to determine the characteristics of the disease’s progression that will in turn inform deployment of scarce resources and guide development of better treatment.
To be truly effective during the COVID-19 pandemic, monitoring equipment needs to be widely available. Thus low cost is of utmost importance. Advances in materials science and micro-printed electronics have resulted in devices capable of unobtrusively measuring the five parameters. While impressive individually, a low cost integrated solution that allows patients to remain at home while still being monitored is yet to be developed.
The proposed solution must:
- directly measure or indirectly determine temperature, blood pressure, peripheral capillary oxygen saturation (SpO2), pulse rate and respiration rate
- wirelessly transmit results to a base station
- use commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) equipment (e.g. tablet) for the base station
- send measurements from the base station to a networked computer
- include a software development kit (SDK) to allow for third parties to develop software to access the measurements
- be able to be worn while asleep
- sense and report motion occurrence and intensity
- be water resistant
- have a sync-able real time clock
- have time stamped measurements
- last 24 hours on a single charge
- have a per unit cost ≤$25 for quantity ≥ 1k (excluding GPS) for on-patient portion
- support a medical device license application to Health Canada
- The maximum funding available for any Phase 1 Grant resulting from this Challenge is $300,000.00 CAD for up to 3 months.
- The maximum funding available for any Phase 2 Grant resulting from this Challenge is $2,000,000.00 CAD for up to 12 months. Only eligible businesses that have completed Phase 1 could be considered for Phase 2.
Solution proposals can only be submitted by a small business that meets all of the following criteria:
- for profit
- incorporated in Canada (federally or provincially)
- 499 or fewer full-time equivalent (FTE) employees
- research and development activities that take place in Canada
- 50% or more of its annual wages, salaries and fees are currently paid to employees and contractors who spend the majority of their time working in Canada
- 50% or more of its FTE employees have Canada as their ordinary place of work
- 50% or more of its senior executives (Vice President and above) have Canada as their principal residence
For more information, visit https://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/101.nsf/eng/00078.html