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A system designed to monitor COVID-19 patients at home using automated text messages saved a life about twice a week during the early days of the pandemic, and overall, patients who enrolled in the system — called COVID Watch — were 68 percent less likely to die, according to results published in the Annals of Internal Medicine*.

Supported in part by PCORI funding, the COVID Watch study — led by Mucio Delgado, MD, MS, at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine — analyzed data from every adult who received outpatient care from Penn Medicine over eight months in 2020.

Regardless of income, race, or health risks, patients enrolled in COVID Watch benefited, likely due to increased access to and use of telemedicine as well as more frequent and earlier trips to the hospital when symptoms worsened—an average of two days earlier for COVID Watch patients.

View the Journal Publication

*This paper received AcademyHealth's 2022 Publication of the Year Award. In addition, the paper was included on the Annals of Internal Medicine's "Best of 2021" list.


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 1 of the study. Click here to read a summary of results from part 2 of the study, which were published in the New England Journal of Medicine in April 2022.

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