The rapid spread of novel coronavirus has led to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, the world is facing an unprecedented global crisis that has posed significant challenges to healthcare practitioners, hospitals, healthcare organizations, and other members of the international medical community. The World Health Organization (WHO) and Center for Disease Control (CDC) have been vigilantly posting updates and useful information for patients and practitioners alike, but in the midst of misinformation and confusion about COVID-19, much of the quality information has gotten lost.
While we wait for clinical trials and research to produce effective treatments and preventative vaccines, it’s important to utilize as many tools as we have available. Fortunately, this challenge has paved the way for innovative and effective tools and technology to emerge, developed and spearheaded by leaders in both medical and technological disciplines.
Here are some COVID-19 diagnosis support tools that can help you as a healthcare practitioner conduct more efficient evaluations, detect potential COVID-19 cases sooner, and help to flatten the curve while we await medical advances on a national and global level.
CDC COVID-19 Evaluation Guide
The CDC has been regularly updating their evaluation and testing guide for healthcare professionals, hospitals, and other organizations and participants in the medical community. One of the most challenging aspects of COVID-19, particularly for physicians on the front lines, is knowing what protocol to follow when a patient suspected of having the disease shows up. Given that novel coronavirus and the resulting COVID-19 disease are both so new, precedent doesn’t exist.
However, you can take a look at the CDC’s Evaluation Guide, which is constantly being updated with the latest best practices. These best practices will help you receive, evaluate, treat, and report cases of suspected or confirmed COVID-19. When everyone is following the same procedures, information can be obtained in a consistent and organized manner, which ultimately benefits everyone.
World Health Organization Global Research
The WHO has been equally dedicated to conducting widespread, international research in order to provide much-needed answers to the multitude of questions surrounding COVID-19. If you are looking for up-to-date research, opportunities to participate, and other international resources related to novel coronavirus and COVID-19, you should visit the ever-growing database that the WHO has been compiling since the onset of this pandemic.
Diagnosis Decision Support Tools
Fortunately, there are also private companies and organizations looking to help curb the spread and severity of novel coronavirus and COVID-19. For instance, Surgisphere has created a COVID-19 Response Center that currently features two industry-leading tools offering real-time diagnostic support with over 99% accuracy.
Diagnosis Decision Support Tool
The first tool is designed to help physicians determine the likelihood that a patient has COVID-19. Waiting for clinical tests to come back can take time — even the President had to wait two days for his results. However, the COVID-19 Diagnosis Decision Support Tool taps into Surgisphere’s real time global research network comprised of more than 1,200 healthcare organizations. Currently, the database has over 6,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, and advanced machine learning techniques have been utilized to create a tool that can predict the likelihood of COVID-19 using just a few basic clinical measurements and characteristics.
This level of accuracy, and the fact that the tool offers real time results, means healthcare practitioners can take action long before test results come in if the tool shows a patient is likely to have the disease. Early detection means that isolation or other preventative measures can occur far before test results come in, which means the likelihood of the patient spreading the disease is much lower than it would have been without this tool.
Mortality Risk Calculator
The second tool available in the response center is the COVID-19 Mortality Risk Calculator. This tool helps to address a second major challenge posed to healthcare practitioners during this time: how to allocate resources. Due to the unprecedented nature of novel coronavirus and COVID-19, it’s difficult for localized healthcare organizations and practitioners to gather enough data to determine a patient’s risk of mortality due to the disease. However, because Surgisphere pulls from an international, real time database containing over 6,000 patients (over 4,000 of which have confirmed life or death outcomes), physicians can quickly enter a few pieces of information about the patient in question and arrive at a highly accurate (over 99.9%) estimate of their mortality risk.
In this way, resources can be allocated to those ranking highly for mortality risk, thus reducing that risk and ensuring the best use of supplies and equipment. Again, having accurate information early means more lives can be saved because better healthcare decisions can be made as a result.
If you want more information about these tools, visit the links above. They are free to use, available immediately, and utilizing them can dramatically change the outcome of the COVID-19 pandemic toward the positive.