AS CORONAVIRUS continues to sweep across the world and we’re all urged to stay at home, apps and online platforms are turning smartphones and tablets into valuable healthcare tools.
It’s no wonder the conditions in which we now find ourselves have forced healthcare companies to adapt quickly to changing demands and how we seek medical advice.
For example, mllions of patients can now see a doctor online as in-person appointments are replaced by telephone or video consultations.
People concerned about contracting Covid-19 can screen themselves, check and monitor symptoms, get advice and even track the virus’s spread.
With many healthcare companies also waiving fees as overstretched medical professionals struggle to cope with the overwhelming numbers of critically ill patients, putting your health in your hands has never been more important.
Free, iOS, Android, doctorlink.com
This NHS-approved symptom assessment app has been updated to help identify patients’ likely risk of catching coronavirus by using algorithms developed by a team of clinicians. Its most recent update involves being able to identify patients who are vulnerable due to age or underlying health problems and provide them with advice.
The app will be continually updated to reflect new government guidance as more information from NHS England, Public Health England and the government is known.
If you can’t work out whether it’s spring allergies or something more sinister, an approved medical platform beats going down a Google self-diagnosis rabbit hole. Meanwhile, Covid-19 positive patients have access to GPs from home.
Free, iOS, Android, babylonhealth.com
This health-service provider, which won the backing of health secretary Matt Hancock, has launched a care assistant dedicated to coronavirus patients. It uses artificial intelligence to guide patients through a series of questions that determine whether they might have it.
If a patient is at risk, the app will refer them to an instant-messaging service with clinicians who can offer more specific advice. You also get information on how to minimise contamination and your next steps. You can log and track symptoms and have virtual consultations.
Anyone with mild symptoms will be advised to self-isolate, while those who need more intensive attention will be given a care plan to monitor their condition.
With questions and concerns growing by the day and misinformation spreading like the virus itself, it’s important to only rely on trusted sources such as the World Health Organization (WHO).
While WHO has an expansive website dedicated to Covid-19, WhatsApp is a more accessible way to get information. To receive official updates on the virus add +41 7989 31892 to your contacts, after which you’ll be registered to receive updates and more.
Pinterest Today tab
If you’re after a one-stop source to stay informed and motivated, Pinterest’s Today tab offers a daily dose of inspiration and motivation. Found in Pinterest’s navigation bar, the tab offers curated boards based on activity and trending ideas from art projects for toddlers to beginner yoga tutorials.
As coronavirus-related searches continue, the platform places expert information from the WHO front and centre. Here, you’ll find a collection of pins that include videos on how not to spread the virus, how to wash your hands, how to keep your food safe and when to wear a surgical face mask.
Free, iOS, Android, pushdoctor.co.uk
With the NHS ordering England’s 7,000 GP surgeries to conduct as many patient consultations as possible by video, a number of health-tech companies have stepped in to help.
Manchester-based online doctor platform Push Doctor has seen a 70 per cent increase in consultations over the past couple of weeks. Designed to help clinicians cope with the response to the massive rising tide of demand for online advice, it helps select NHS surgeries to interact with patients self-isolating at home.
Free, iOS, Android, livi.co.uk
Livi’s digital healthcare has seen a significant rise in users as the app continues its quest to help patients maintain access to GP care at home, while helping ease up the increased pressure on the NHS. Available for free to participating practising doctors, the launch of its Livi Connect platform has been designed as a secure method for patients to have access to healthcare from home.
Once verified, healthcare professionals enter their patient’s mobile number to send them a one-time SMS link and begin a video consultation without exposing personal details. Patients can also book appointments with participating GPs to hold video consultations.
Again, to alleviate the pressure on the NHS and free up resources, health specialist Reviv has stopped operating commercially to lend its medical staff and resources to the global effort.
Part of this move is to provide a free global advice service aimed at anyone with concerns or anyone who is suffering at home. As specialists in wellness, immune-system support and disease prevention, they are now offering a virtual advice system and free telephone consultations for sufferers and non-sufferers alike.
The service will be bolstered by web-based seminars and podcasts across a series of topics in an attempt to aid recovery and boost immune systems.
Covid-19 symptom tracker
Free, iOS, Android
Created by King’s College London, this app allows anyone in the UK to do their part by reporting symptoms of Covid-19 daily so that the progression of the virus can be tracked in real time.
Citing its creation as ‘clinically urgent’ to understand how many people are infected, the app’s aim is to slow the outbreak of Covid-19. It can do this by helping researchers determine how fast the virus is spreading in an area. It can identify high-risk areas, as well as who is most at risk of developing aggressive symptoms by better understanding how symptoms are linked to underlying health problems.
Innovative tech in the fight against Covid-19
China’s robocop Helmet sees all
A sci-fi future just got a bit closer thanks to this Chinese helmet that’s loaded with tech to detect individuals with a fever up to five metres away. It even sounds an alarm when anyone with an abnormally high temperature comes close. Armed with facial recognition, it also instantly displays to the wearer the subject’s name, details and personal medical history. It’s being used by officials in public spaces across China.
Snood operator goes viral
Contrary to what a lot of people think, wearing a surgical face mask won’t completely stop the spread of coronavirus — a clever snood just might be more useful. Created by Manchester-based biochemists, an antiviral coating on this snood is said to trap 96 per cent of airborne viruses and can be washed and reused. The boffins behind it are working round the clock to bring it to full production.
A 3Dcrowd-pleasing pledge
In the UK, a group of around 1,400 3D printer owners have pledged to help make face masks for NHS workers using their machines, thousands of which have already been donated to hospitals, GPs, pharmacies, paramedics and social-care homes. This is all down to The 3DCrowd UK group, which is on a mission to recruit volunteers with 3D printers up and down the country to do their part to help protect medical staff.