MONTREAL -- A Montreal scientist's invention is gaining attention for the role it could play in the fight against COVID-19.

Azadeh Dastmalchi, 34, originally started work on her invention in 2010. The Vital Tracer was inspired by her father's diagnosis of hypertension. Dastmalchi tried to find a medical-grade smartwatch to help monitor his blood pressure, but found none on the market.

Now, she believes she's found another use for her creation. She said she believes the smartwatch can help detect COVID-19 cases early on, especially in understaffed nursing homes.

“It could save a lot of lives,” she said. “They can manage all seniors' health at the same time, so there shouldn't be any tragedy like the one we had during COVID.”

The inventor recently received a national award from Mitacs to recognize her innovation and research. Now, with clinical trials underway at the Glenn and Ste-Justince health centres, she said she hopes Health Canada and the American Federal Drug Administration will certify the Vital Tracer soon.