CovidCare: Self-monitoring for COVID-19 symptoms in self-isolation

The COVID-19 pandemic has had an enormous impact on the community.  A positive diagnosis for COVID-19 requires quarantine and self-isolation for at least two weeks.  The majority of people diagnosed with COVID-19 diagnoses can be managed in the community with primary care support.  This can be an anxiety provoking time for people diagnosed and changes in symptoms could require further medical management or require hospitalisation.  Tools that help people diagnosed with COVID-19 monitor physical symptoms will provide additional support to people isolating and can be used to assist clinical decision making about appropriate levels of care.  Mobile applications provide a potential pathway for patients to self-monitor COVID-19 symptoms in the home.

The CovidCare app has been developed to support people diagnosed with COVID-19 to monitor key respiratory and cardiac symptoms associated with the diagnosis with additional screening tools for depression and anxiety.  It is anticipated that CovidCare will lead to patients feeling less anxious and isolated in isolation and can provide additional reassurance when their symptoms are stable and appropriate guidance for when seeking help would be recommended.

Apps for self-monitoring also have the potential to include guidance on health actions that can be taken, which serves as an educative role for patients.

CovidCare has been developed by Two Bulls app developers with clinical guidance and support from leading respiratory clinicians Professor Bruce Thompson and Clinical Associate Professor Jeremy Goldin and primary care advice from Dr Mukesh Haikerwal.

The CovidCare trials is being led by Associate Professor Victoria Palmer and the Integrated Mental Health Research team to determine whether CovidCare can safely and effectively support people diagnosed with COVID-19 through their required isolation .  Recruitment for the trial is currently underway across 100 dedicated respiratory clinics across Australia. “We hope to test whether the CovidCare app provides patients with the level of support they need for ongoing symptom checking for Covid-19 and ongoing self-monitoring support”, says lead investigator, Associate Professor Victoria Palmer. “The app will also provide us with important insight into critical information about emotional needs and the impact on mental health of self-isolation due to Covid-19.”

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