Recently, the New York Times reported that without a significant increase in national efforts to control the spread of COVID-19, novel coronavirus could kill up to 2.2 million people in the U.S. alone by the time it’s under control. Given that health professionals have predicted this pandemic could last well into the summer, those are frightening statistics, both for healthcare providers and the public at large.
One of the most frustrating aspects of this current crisis is its novelty. There are no precedents that inform our decision making. Preventative vaccines and effective treatments are both in development, but in order to ensure they are safe and beneficial, precious time has to be spent – time during which the virus will spread, and more people will become infected with COVID-19.
What Can We Do?
It’s a question many people are asking. As for the general public, best practices such as social distancing and hand washing as well as self-isolating (promoted on Twitter via #StayHomeChallenge) are all excellent ways to prevent infection and slow the spread of COVID-19.
But what about healthcare professionals? What can we do if we don’t have vaccines, medications, or historical information about COVID-19?
To help empower healthcare providers to make data-driven decisions, Surgsiphere has created a suite of tools and resources based on real time, international data. We’re confident that, while not diagnostic tests, these tools can provide enough information to help significantly slow the spread of this deadly illness.
COVID-19 Diagnosis Decision Support Tool
The first tool we’ve created is a diagnosis decision support tool designed to help healthcare providers estimate the likelihood that a given patient has COVID-19. While this is not a clinical or diagnostic test and cannot take the place of lab results, it can provide highly accurate estimations of the likelihood that a patient has COVID-19.
While you wait for tests to come back (even the President had to wait two days), patients indicated as likely to have the illness should be isolated until lab results confirm or deny the presence of the disease. These results can take days to come back – days that potentially infected patients could spend walking around spreading the disease to others.
By utilizing the decision support tool, physicians can take preemptive action when a patient’s results indicate they are likely to have COVID-19. The more healthcare providers who utilize this tool, the more potentially infected patients can be treated as such, and the slower the virus will be able to spread.
COVID-19 Morbidity Risk Calculator
The second decision support tool that Surgisphere is offering, also based on real time data-driven technology, is a COVID-19 morbidity risk calculator. In addition to confronting the challenges faced by a lack of clinical tests and the latency between test initiation and results, we also wanted to tackle another challenge facing healthcare practitioners on the front lines: resource allocation.
It’s no surprise that resources are scarce right now. Unfortunately, the situation is only going to get worse. So how can we, as healthcare professionals, prevent needless deaths? The answer, we believe, is to empower healthcare providers with the ability to determine, with a high degree of accuracy, which patients are most likely to be at risk of mortality when infected with COVID-19.
Our morbidity risk calculator, like our other tools, is not a clinical test. However, it can predict with a high degree of accuracy, based on international, real time data, how likely it is that a given patient with COVID-19 is at risk of mortality. Those at high risk need the most resources allocated for their treatment and supportive care, but without predictive tools it can be almost impossible to determine morbidity risk, especially when faced with a novel virus.
Triage Decision Support Tool
Finally, we’ve just released a third tool which functions as both a mobile app and a desktop app. The COVID-19 Triage Support Tool is one that can help physicians triage a potential COVID-19 patient in under a minute. By simply answering a few questions using information you can gather from a basic physical exam, the app can tell you with 95.5% accuracy whether the patient in front of you should be treated as routine, urgent, or critical.
The app correctly identifies critical COVID-19 patients 100% of the time.
Because this application relies on data from over 10,000 cases of COVID-19 and offers real time results, it provides physicians with the information necessary to correctly classify patients and mobilize resources accordingly. This can be particularly helpful in areas where resources are scarce.
We’re confident that giving healthcare providers the tools they need to make preventative diagnostic decisions and accurately assess morbidity risks related to COVID-19 will ultimately lead to a slower transmission rate, fewer deaths, and countless lives saved.
For more information about these tools, or to utilize them for free, visit the COVID-19 Response Center today. These tools are ready to use, completely free, and extremely powerful for those on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic and for the patients they serve.