Oakland University to require residents to wear ‘BioButton,’ to track health; students launch petition

Wearable technology to monitor COVID-19 symptoms

BioIntelliSense's new BioButton for 90-days of continuous wireless temperature and vital signs monitoring on a coin-sized disposable medical device. (BioButton)

Oakland University will require residents to wear a “BioButton” in residence halls when students return to campus this fall amid the coronavirus pandemic.

UPDATE: The ‘BioButton’ will not be required on campus

The “BioButton” is wearable technology that monitors your vitals, including temperature and heart-rate, in real time. It can last for up to 90 days. It’s meant to be worn on the chest and connects to your mobile device.

“In order to lower the risk of virus outbreaks on campus a BioButton screening tool is being used. It provides additional information for health screening. The button will be used in conjunction with the daily health assessment to determine if you are able to participate in campus activities. The individual data will remain private to the wearer and is not shared with others,” the university states on its website.

A group of Oakland University students have launched a petition against the policy, citing an intrusion of privacy and data.

“A large portion of students feel that this in violation of their privacy and some students have stated that their rejections of this idea come from a religious basis. Moreover, the new idea (evidently a large adjustment) was not mentioned but instead put further into the website for individuals to stumble across,” the petition’s author writes.

As of Monday morning, the petition had more than 2,000 e-signatures. The university is also advising the BioButton to be worn by faculty, staff, and students who will be on campus regularly.

Related: A look at how Oakland University is preparing campus for fall return amid pandemic

What do you think about this idea? Let us know in the comments below.

About the Author:

Ken Haddad is the digital content and audience manager for WDIV / ClickOnDetroit.com. He also authors the Morning Report Newsletter and various other newsletters. He's been with WDIV since 2013. He enjoys suffering through Lions games on Sundays in the fall.