Oakland University offering button that tracks vital signs free to students, staff

Posted at 8:24 AM, Nov 20, 2020

Oakland University is giving students and faculty the opportunity to get a button that tracks vital signs as they aim to protect the campus from COVID-19.

According to the university, the BioButton was created by BioIntelliSense Inc. and is a wearable device that tracks skin temperature, respiratory rate and heart rate at rest.

It's available free to students, faculty and staff.

The BioButton works with an app and also has screening questions to see if users are cleared for regular activities or are at risk for a COVID-19 infection. The device attaches to the upper left chest with adhesive and can be worn for 30 days.

“Oakland University is on the forefront of using wearable devices to battle COVID-19 outbreaks on college campuses. Scientists and policymakers across the world are scrambling to properly react to this pandemic. OU is joining the battle by looking outside of the box for creative and new problem-solving opportunities,” Vice President for Research Dr. Savid Stone said. “The button is one of a number of tools and strategies we are using. Face coverings, social distancing, regular hand-washing and daily screenings for all members of the OU community are essential for limiting person-to-person spread of the virus. Our hope is that the BioButton can help us prevent individual spread from becoming major outbreaks.”

It's encouraged for students living on campus, student-athletes, faculty with in-person classes and staff who interact with people on campus.

The university's senior VP for student affairs participated in a test wearing the button.

“It is as easy to use as we hoped,” Glenn McIntosh said. “Once you put it on, you just go about your business and forget it’s even there.”