Swiss hospitals implement remote COVID-19 symptom checking platform

The monitoring system will help medics triage patients with the virus.
By Sophie Porter
02:14 am
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Credit: Kaiku Health

Digital oncological therapeutics company Kaiku Health has developed a symptom monitoring system for patients with coronavirus to be used by Geneva University Hospitals (HUG). The platform will assist HUG in triaging patients who suspect they have the virus or who have already been diagnosed, both in and out of hospital.

WHAT IT DOES

Each day patients will fill out a digital report of their symptoms that will be sent to a dedicated healthcare professional to evaluate. This remote connectivity allows medical professionals to monitor the patient’s status without having to utilise limited hospital resources unnecessarily.

If the clinician assesses that the patient’s condition has worsened, they will be informed to go to the emergency room where a team will admit them.

It also provides useful information on patients whose conditions are improving, helping authorities to better understand the virus.

The platform is an adapted version of Kaiku Health’s PROHUG system, a digital health intervention platform that monitors the progress and symptoms of tumours in cancer patients. It is a certified Medical Device that is already in use extensively across HUG.

THE LARGER PICTURE

Switzerland has been badly affected by COVID-19 and the country have already been in lockdown for a month, which has seen the closure of non-essential services and schools, along with the banning of gatherings of more than five people. Authorities have been granted extended powers during the emergency, including in the deployment of a hospital battalion of the Swiss Army to assist at civilian hospitals.

With one of the highest testing rates in the world, Switzerland has managed to control the epidemiological curve relatively successfully, reducing stresses on hospital capabilities. Nevertheless, Switzerland has the tenth highest death rate worldwide at 136 deaths per million of the population.

The government recently agreed to treat some patients from France and, as the virus continues to spread, the health service is feeling the pressure.

ON THE RECORD

Chief medical officer of Kaiku Health, Vesa Kataja, said: “Efficient recognition of patients who need hospitalisation is increasingly important in a situation where health care resources are strained. Digital symptom monitoring can also be used to recognise patients with COVID-19 infections when testing capacity is overburdened.”

Lauri Sippola, the company’s CEO, added: “The pandemic calls for new processes and solutions through close cooperation between healthcare providers and the health tech industry, of which PROHUG has been a great example. We already had the technology and expertise in highly specialised cancer care and it could be adapted quickly to support hospitals fighting COVID-19. Our priority now is to support our partner hospitals through this challenging time.”

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