As coronavirus continues to impact communities around the world, many healthcare professionals seek innovative ways to care for those infected. When patients do recover enough from COVID-19 to be discharged from the hospital, they often face a long and challenging road to wellness. Dealing with lingering symptoms, uncertainty about future immunity, and wildly disparate living situations, recovering patients need ways to be monitored and supported. Custom-designed technology can help.
To assist in the recovery phase of coronavirus, Motorola teams quickly developed a software solution to monitor COVID-19 patients after they leave the Unicamp Hospital de Clínicas in Campinas, Brazil.
Upon discharge from the hospital, the patient receives a card with a QR Code and the registration number of the doctor responsible for the remote monitoring. When scanned, the code opens a customized browser in the patient’s smartphone—meaning no special app needs to be installed.
For 14 days, the patient will answer five simple questions about their state of health, recording symptoms and biometrics such as temperature, amount of coughing, tiredness, and shortness of breath during the previous 24 hours. After the patient completes the questionnaire, their information is logged into the hospital system. If any coronavirus symptoms are detected or if there are any concerns, the data is sent directly to the doctors, who will get in touch with the patient for further instructions.
“Since this is a new disease, many people feel insecure about the possibility of their condition getting worse,” said Plínio Trabasso, the epidemiologist responsible for the COVID-19 monitoring system at the Unicamp HC. “Therefore, having a doctor monitor their progress – even at a distance – and having an open channel to the hospital without the patient having to leave home increases their feeling and their degree of safety.”
The measure offers the patient greater convenience and helps promote social isolation to reduce the potential for contagion in the community.
Since the implementation of the solution, monitoring has become faster and more efficient. Before deploying the new software, a hospital attendant had to call each one of the patients every day to ask the basic questions and then send responses along to the doctor. Now, the doctor receives their patients’ questionnaires in real time and hospital attendants do not need to contact patients daily.
“As soon as the solution is fully implemented and working perfectly, it may be extended to other public hospitals and may even be used to monitor patients with different diseases,” said Edilson Silva, Software Development manager in Motorola’s “Dogfooding” team.
Edilson’s team is responsible for testing Motorola’s innovations amongst employee and volunteer populations—getting real-world feedback to inform their work. They are skilled at iterating and customizing new solutions to meet customer needs. The Dogfooding team’s approach to problem solving is readily applicable to the complex and ever-evolving challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Motorola’s solution to monitoring recovering COVID-19 patients at home is just one example of how the company is responding to global needs during the coronavirus pandemic. While this donation is only in use in Brazil, the software will continue to be evaluated, improved, and hopefully implemented in other public hospitals to support the efforts of healthcare providers.