Patients with suspected coronavirus who are self isolating at home could benefit from a new app launched in Dudley.
MyDignio has been commissioned by NHS Dudley Clinical Commissioning Group and will be used to monitor patients who have the virus at home - and follow up those whose clinical condition could deteriorate.
Using two easy to use Bluetooth enabled medical devices – a thermometer and an oximeter - patients with mildly symptomatic coronavirus will be asked to report their symptoms and regularly check their pulse, temperature and oxygen levels, all from their own home.
Using the fully automated app based health monitoring system, they will be closely monitored via their mobile phone by health professionals. Dr Jonathan Darby, GP and IT Lead, Dudley CCG explains:
“With technology playing a vital role in our response to this pandemic so far, the MyDignio app will enhance our ability to provide high quality healthcare and reassurance to the people of Dudley.
“it will also allow healthcare staff to remotely manage the monitoring process of suspected coronavirus patients safely, and without infection risk to themselves.”
Currently patients self isolating at home receive a call from a clinician to ask them how are feeling. Instead the app will automatically record their readings and generate an alert to healthcare staff at the first sign of any deterioration. This will enable a larger number of patients to be safely monitored by fewer healthcare professionals, freeing up resource to see other patients.
The app will be offered to patients with mild to moderate symptoms of coronavirus that can be managed in the community. Following a consultation with a health professional, patients will download the MyDignio app on their own smartphone, and will be trained in the clinic on how to use the monitoring equipment and the app, before self isolating at home. Dr Darby added:
“The beauty of this system is that firstly patients feel safe at home as they know they are being watched carefully for early signs of change in their condition.
“Secondly clinicians know that they will be able to act quickly if a patient is developing problems and address them quickly.”
Developed in Norway, the Dignio app has been available in Norway for some time but this is the first time it has been used for Covid monitoring anywhere else in Europe.
Subject to a successful implementation and evaluation, MyDignio could be used more widely for Covid monitoring across the West Midlands or even nationally, and post Covid could even be used to monitor other long term conditions, such as diabetes, asthma and high blood pressure as well as the general health of all Care Home residents.