Insider News: April 30, 2020

Posted by AllWays Health Partners blog team on April 30, 2020

Academic medical centers across the Partners HealthCare system are hard at work fighting COVID-19. We're sharing stories from four of our affiliates' blogs and news sites on their efforts toward researching the virus and protecting staff and patients.

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Biobank may help researchers better understand reasons behind COVID-19's varying symptoms and severity

Partners HealthCare, Biogen Inc, and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard have launched a consortium to build and share a COVID-19 biobank. The biobank will help scientists study de-identified biological and medical data, with the goal of expanding our understanding of the novel coronavirus.

The samples come from volunteers that include Biogen employees, who were among the first to contract and recover from the virus. Researchers hope to use this cluster to better understand why some of the infected are asymptomatic and others experience much more severe symptoms.

Visit Connect with Partners for more Partners HealthCare news.

Brigham and Women's clinicians develop 3D-printed face shield to combat PPE shortages

Together with BoroBot, a 3D printing workshop, and the Greater Boston Pandemic Fabrication Team, clinicians from Brigham and Women's Hospital have developed a new face shield designed to keep health care workers as safe as possible.

Unlike regular face shields, the 3D-printed model can be sterilized and reused. The design also incorporates feedback from health care workers, offering protections that include ear-to-ear coverage, a longer plastic shield, a top lip that protects spray from above, and fog resistance. 

Clinicians who wore the mask during the pilot study reported feeling safer from splash and spray and more confident. Production on the masks has increased and several thousand will be distributed to the front line and high-risk areas at the Brigham.

Learn more at the Brigham Health Hub.

Wireless device helps clinicians safely monitor COVID-19 symptoms in older adults

A new device developed by clinicians from McLean Hospital’s Center of Excellence in Geriatric Psychiatry and engineers from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) uses wireless signals to track vital signs, sleep patterns, and movement. The technology has helped hospitals and assisted living facilities obey coronavirus protocols for keeping patients safe, while also improving their ability to monitor for respiratory symptoms and behavior changes.

The device, known as Emerald, may help expand health care capacity during the pandemic. By passively collecting data, Emerald could enable physicians to triage less severe cases and monitor them from their home, while still being able to act quickly in the case of worsening symptoms.

Get more of McLean Hospital's latest news.

The coronavirus sanity guide: Mental and physical health resources

The Newton-Wellesley Hospital Be Well blog published a list of podcasts, blog posts, apps and resources to help people cope with the stress of coronavirus and maintain good health habits. Most of the resources are completely free and cover a wide range of fitness, meditation, and productivity-related habits.

Topics: Insider News, COVID-19

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