Smartphone app can reduce hospitalization claims for COVID-19

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A smartphone application for doctors and nurses can cut hospitalization claims for COVID-19 by up to 60 percent compared with a traditional phone-based intervention according to a retrospective study published in The Lancet.

Patients who received the mobile app had a mean claim rate of 38 percent less with no difference seen in util group treatment group or control group. This expected reduction was more significant than any improvement seen in patients over the previous 24-weeks-long course of the standard intervention course according to the study.

This work suggests that using smartphones which is self-directed and did not involve staff can significantly reduce the number of hospitalization claims for COVID-19 lead author James Gilsman of Memorial University Hospital in Saskatoon Canada said in a commentary accompanying the study.

The implication of this study indicates that physicians and nurses can save time money and healthcare resources – while reducing the cost of care.

CaptureCT a mobile nursing game and app is used in the UK but a more rigorous randomized trial is underway elsewhere in the world.

Researchers analyzed 215 patients in three hospitals: the Norway University Hospital in Skne with a patient population of 150000 the University Hospital Sigtuna with 150000 and the University Hospital Kladno with 114500.

Patients were randomized to either two-minute or 24-hour follow-up assessment and either with or without a smartphone-based intervention. From April 24 to May 13 more than 35000 patients in both groups were randomized to either standard COVID-19 care or to control group for 12 weeks.

From April 20 to April 30 more than 2500 patients were randomized to standard COVID-19 care.

Reinstatement of smartphone intervention at the end of either the standard or group course resulted in significantly better outcomes patients with smartphone intervention had a significant decrease in supplementary claims at 24-weeks while controls saw no change.

One limitation of the study was that the app also offered no option to stop enrollment in or attempt a change in care regardless of patients ability to complete the course which was not an option for controls.

We can be very optimistic and confident that this app will benefit patients in a number of ways said Dr. Hal Pazel of Yale University New Haven Connecticut who was not directly involved in designing the new app.

Most importantly it will make the process of care easier and less burdensome for patients.