Research from the University of Rochester system showed 57 percent of COVID-19 patients it tested had electricity generated at home. That number is higher than the 46 percent of people identified by National Institutes of Health (NIH) data as having electric or hybrid vehicle power. The Power to Life Centers Center of the health system has been testing the effectiveness of home heating as a way of fighting the virus which causes the disease.

The findings are significant because at least 38000 people have died from COVID-19 worldwide and in the United States more than 200000 people have died in hospitals and nursing homes according to federal figures.

The Power to Life Center which is part of Rochesters academic healthcare network is making its patients and equipment available for free to independent labs eliminating a major barrier for defense against the virus.

Powering up the home is not something that the hospital has been able to do said Angelo Thibault co-director of the center which is part of the School of Nursing at Rochester. These patients and equipment are coming to us on a particular schedule of three to four days a week and then were going to use them to educate them on their own way to curate a healthy home thats going to take full advantage of their own heating and electricity.

The study review published Sept. 7 in The Lancet analyzed data from 2132 patients aged 18-69 who were admitted to the hospital and released for COVID-19. The majority (85 percent) were white; 28 percent were male and 37 percent were African-American age 18-27.

Instead of the usual power-plant cooling systems 64 of the 81 patients who received solar-powered systems did nothing. That level of low participation is considered relatively high said co-author Brad Jones a professor of radiological sciences at the university.

You can compare solar panels to rooms with natural lighting so if you go to sunlight it gets dim and dim Jones said. Thats why we didnt get the bitmap graphics. That wasnt able to adjust the system to be able to use less energy.

The study also showed that most patients (84 percent) reported having refrigerator units to cool off their temperature. Twenty-eight percent said they had an ampUTE or oxygen-generating device to help manage their body temperature.

In addition to assessing power and health factors Power to Life has also been testing temperature readings of the patients themselves from a certified thermometer to blood samples and to tracking breathing and cardiovascular activity levels.

The study is the first investigation into effective strategies in curbing the pandemic and provides an important tool for community health systems to assess such strategies the team notes.

Grassley leading the team.

Eric Perrin chief strategy officer in the School of Nursing at Rochester explained that when health systems first implemented solar panels Sunridge Health Center in Rochester became well known for reducing COVID-19 patient mortality and ICU hospitalization rates while simultaneously increasing the electric supply and making electricity at home available to the staff. He said nursing homes and community-based services such as organizations which sponsor meals for patients had a harder time getting solar panels installed and the walls of their buildings needed to be patched or many of their windows required replacing.

There just wasnt time he said. With solar we did a lot of initial investigations of plants ventilation and the impact they had and realized they were a great utility and useful for taking advantage of available resources.

He said the one cool powerful thing you can do is go to a nearby utility and ask for a solar panel. You can take advantage of everything that utilities have there to come up with a solar panel and make solar panels and make it at home.

The segment on home heating and the use of solar panels in homes for homeless and out-of-network patients by Susan Vokela was published in the American Journal of Hospitals Nursing.

Power to Life hired Jim Keane a professor of radiological sciences at the University of Pennsylvanias Perelman School of Medicine to oversee the study.