Trial questions effectiveness of home pulse oximetry for COVID-19

PHILADELPHIA — According to a trial conducted by doctors and other healthcare professionals at the University of Pennsylvania.

Twenty-eight physicians and other healthcare professionals from the Perelman School of Medicine published a letter to the editor in the New England Journal of Medicine on April 6 with the results of their randomized trial evaluating a remote SMS monitoring program supplemented with home pulse oximeter oxygen saturation monitoring.

As part of the trial, they enrolled adults in their health system’s electronic health record with COVID-19 in COVID Watch, a two-week program involving automated text messages twice daily requesting information about dyspnoea, with prompt reminders from nurses if necessary.

From November 29, 2020 to February 5, 2021, they randomly assigned program patients to participate in either the standard monitoring program in addition to home pulse oximetry, or the standard program alone, in a 1:1 ratio. They provided patients in the pulse oximetry group with a pulse oximeter and monitored them for subjective symptoms or low or declining oxygen saturation. A total of 1,041 patients (606 of whom had test-confirmed COVID-19) were assigned to the standard program group, and 1,056 patients (611 of whom had test-confirmed COVID-19) were assigned to the oximetry group. of pulse. Of the patients in the pulse oximetry group, 77.7% submitted at least one pulse oximetry reading.

Among patients with test-confirmed COVID-19, they found that there was no significant difference between the groups in the number of days they were alive and out of hospital at 30 days ( mean, 29.4 days in the pulse oximetry group and 29.5 days in the standard program group; P = 0.58; difference, -0.1 day; 95% confidence interval [CI]-0.4 to 0.2)

Sara H. Byrd