COVID-19 Risk Factor Study with imaware™

COVID-19 risk factor study

Learn how Wheel and partners are conducting a first-of-its-kind study to understand why some are at higher risk of critical illness from COVID-19.

A woman in her 20s is hospitalized for more than three months. A 100-year-old woman survives a month-long COVID battle. A man in his 30s with no underlying conditions dies in the ICU. It’s the burning question on researchers' minds these days: Why do some patients get so critically sick with COVID and others can defeat the virus with no discernible symptoms?

We’re excited to announce a partnership with Houston-based digital health platform imaware™ and researchers at Texas A&M University to answer just that. The primary research priority is to understand host responses to virus complications from cytokine storms. Secondarily, Dr. Rebecca Fischer, infectious disease expert and epidemiologist and lab scientist at Texas A&M, will be tracking transmission throughout households.

As an imaware™ partner, Wheel is contacting patients who test positive to provide telemedicine oversight and post-diagnosis care.

"We believe strongly in supporting this research, as findings from the field can be implemented to improve clinical processes—helping even more patients." - Dr. Rafid Fadul, Executive Medical Director at Wheel

The research is currently underway through imaware’s clinician-delivered, at-home testing for nasopharyngeal swab collection. Samples are processed by a CLIA-certified lab using the CDC’s EUA-authorized test and protocol and then stored for further study of the virus. Multiple samples from each patient and household member, regardless of positivity, will be collected at distinct time points to glean information about the biology of the disease and its progression.

Ultimately, the goal is to better understand differences in individual risk factors for COVID-19 so at-risk populations can be targeted with early intervention and antiviral therapies.

To date and to our knowledge, this is the only longitudinal, prospective research approach collecting, assessing, and biobanking COVID-19 samples in real-time.

Wheel is uniquely positioned to serve in response to the pandemic with telehealth emergency response services for COVID-19 triage, care navigation, and education, through our nationwide network of board-certified clinicians trained in telehealth and CDC-guided clinical protocols.

To learn more about the research, view the press release here.


If you are interested in partnering with Wheel to deliver COVID-19 telehealth services, contact our sales team.

If you are interested in joining the clinical care team as a physician or nurse practitioner, get started here.