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Pulse Oximeter portable digital device to measure person's oxygen saturation. Reduction in oxygenation is an emergency sign of pneumonia requiring urgent hospitalization. Face mask. Green mint background.

Patients with COVID-19 who were remotely monitored at home using a text-message-based program — known as COVID Watch — did not experience better outcomes if they used a pulse oximeter, according to research findings published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Supported in part by PCORI funding, the study — led by Mucio Delgado, MD, MS, at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine — compared patients who received standard care as part of the COVID Watch program to patients in the same program who were given a pulse oximeter to monitor their oxygen levels. Researchers found that adding the pulse oximeter did not save more lives or keep more people out of the hospital.

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About the COVID Watch Study
The study involved two interventions/comparitors: Part 1 of the study looked at remote home monitoring versus no remote home monitoring. Part 2 of the study looked at usual care with remote home monitoring versus usual care with remote home monitoring and the the use of a fingertip pulse oximeter. The results summarized above are from part 2 of the study. Click here to read a summary of results from part 1 of the study, which were published in the Annals of Internal Medicine in November 2021.

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