Health professionals on the front line of the fight against Covid-19 have been given a guide to through the mass of information on the virus thanks to a team of University of Warwick researchers and hospital clinicians.
They have pooled their knowledge and expertise to create and launch The Covid-19 Team App (https://covid19team.app/), aimed at improving knowledge and understanding of the virus among medical professionals working on the front line with patients during the pandemic.
It is designed to act as a bedside tool for doctors nurses and other health professionals who are looking after patients with Covid-19.
The real-time app collates the latest developments on treatments and care for pandemic patients as they come on stream, using leading academic and public health information sources such as the Lancet, New England Journal of Medicine, Public Health England and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the US.
The app was designed and its content screened by fifteen or more experts from many different medical disciplines, to ensure that it is comprehensively representing the most reliable science.
Brainchild of three doctors
The Covid-19 Team App was the brainchild of three doctors from Coventry and Warwickshire in the UK, two of whom are also clinical educators at Warwick Medical School at the University of Warwick. They conceived and developed the app in their spare time and using their own skills and resources.
Dr Andy Stein, honorary clinical lecturer at the University of Warwick, said: ‘This app exists to help healthcare professionals share their findings and best practice nationally and internationally. We need to discover what works and what doesn’t work in other hospitals.
‘With all of us working in general practice and hospitals, and helping deal with the Covid-19 pandemic, we were surprised at the lack of information available to junior doctors and nurses. They were turning to unreliable sources on how to deal with the growing number of patients. We then decided to create an evolving tool to help inform clinicians as new data emerges.’
The app is primarily aimed at junior doctors, nurses and final-year medical students, as they make up the majority of healthcare staff working with patients during the pandemic. Although not its main audience, it also exists as a resource for the general public. It is also designed for international use.
Tips for professionals
It includes tips for healthcare professionals handling Covid-19 patients, including spotting conditions with similar symptoms and alternative diagnoses; interpreting the diagnostic test (a throat and nose RNA PCR test) and its false negative rate; use of antibiotics for secondary infections; and how to judge how patients are getting better after initial examinations.
Dr James Gill, honorary clinical lecturer at Warwick Medical School, said: ‘Coronavirus had turned our wards upside down, both in terms of the patients we’re seeing, but also the doctors who are caring for them.
‘Across the NHS, healthcare workers in all professions have risen to the challenge. One of the issues with an outbreak of an entirely new virus such as this is the fragmentation of information and to overcome this, we have created Covid-19 Team App.
‘A fantastic team has been involved in the creation of this app and shows what is possible with a shared vision to provide accurate, consolidated, curated information on COVID19.
‘Crucially, the COVID19 Team App is a web-based design to reduce the barriers to access. No log in, no downloads, no paywalls, and available to patient and profession alike on your phone, desktop computer or tablet.’
The app is available for free at: https://covid19team.app/ (If users save it on to the home page of their mobiles, it becomes an app)