The importance of including digitalization within the health strategy
Officially declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization in March, COVID-19 is spreading around the world, with Europe and the United States currently the most affected countries.
However, China, the country where the outbreak first originated, specifically in the well-known province of Hubei, is now beginning to stabilize its situation.
While the rest of the world deals with this unprecedented emergency situation, the Asian country is beginning to lift the restrictions imposed on its population and progressively exchanges the numbers of people affected by recoveries.
An experience that has now served to support the rest of the countries and communities through medical material and, the most valuable asset at present to fight the virus, knowledge and experience.
While it is true that we already knew of several strains within the coronavirus (CoV) family such as MERS-CoV or SARS-CoV, the new outbreak that emerged in late December in China was totally unknown to date. The one named as SARS-CoV-2 is a global challenge due to its high contagiousness, its lack of treatment and its lethality in certain groups of people (immunosuppressed, people with other pathologies, …)
These are elements that China has already had to deal with and they can now share in order to improve both patient care and progress in the fight against the virus.
This is exactly the experience shared by the First Affiliated Hospital of Zhejiang University School of Medicine (FAHZU), through a manual created with the support of the Jack Ma Foundation and the Alibaba Foundation.
A pioneer work in the treatment of patients, as well as in the application of technology in the biological battle.
There is no doubt that healthcare is our best defence against the pandemic, but its resources are limited and that is precisely where the digitalisation of certain processes can be fundamental to winning the battle.
There are three technological strategies carried out by the Asian country within the hospital field:
• Reducing the risk of cross infection of patients through the digitalization of procedures such as online primary care or hospital appointments previously established online with very clear requirements to follow (time, protection measures, information, etc.)
• Reduced work intensity and risk of infection of healthcare personnel with online staff meetings, mobile and remote testing of professionals, constant access to the health status of all personnel through QR codes, as well as electronic records of patients with symptoms.
• Quick response to emergencies generated by the COVID-19 thanks to real time information available from patients and professionals. As well as the online training of staff.
These three strategies seek to protect patients and health professionals in the hospital environment in advance. But if there is still a focus of infection, how can we protect them?
➜ By keeping control of all those exposed to the outbreak within the centre.
MYSPHERA ATLAS is a mobile application whose main objective is to have a real-time traceability of all the contacts with whom a health care provider has interacted.
An APP that works in a passive way registering the signals emitted by the smartphones of colleagues as well as the bracelets that identify the patients. So each healthcare provider has a record of all the people they have interacted with throughout their day.
In the event that there is a positive patient within the centre, through the register generated by the APP we will be able to know all those people who have been exposed, both healthcare personnel and other patients. In this way we can carry out the appropriate protocols for their isolation.
This is a valuable tool not only for each medical professional, but also for the infection control team in charge of this type of situation in each hospital.
In the event of an outbreak, the traditional steps to be followed include manual records of the staff and an interview with the affected person who reports his or her movements. A system with little precision and reliability.
In the same scenario, with MYSPHERA ATLAS and its digital traceability, all the information can be obtained instantly and accurately, and the necessary protocols can be carried out as quickly and adequately as possible.
In health emergency situations such as the present one, it is vital to act quickly and with certainty when it comes to protecting a fundamental pillar for the population, the health system.