Epidemiologist Vasileios Nittas from the University of Zurich outlined the importance of health technology in the midst of an epidemic.
The Corona virus outbreak makes its effect felt more and more every day. Covid-19, which has caused approximately 1 and a half million infected cases and 89 thousand deaths globally, made us feel the benefits of technology in some areas. One of these areas is undoubtedly health. Because the point where technology meets health is providing serious convenience to many people at the moment.
Nowadays, officials do not recommend going to hospitals except in emergencies because Covid-19 is said to have a faster rate of spread in hospitals. When this is the case, people need remote assistance for some of their illnesses. For this reason, we have told you that online doctor services have started to become widespread in our country. In fact, this is not the only benefit that technology provides to the epidemic. Epidemiologist Vasileios Nittas from the University of Zurich outlined the importance of health technology in the midst of an epidemic.
The importance of medical distance
Health officials such as the CDC and the World Health Organization are working hard to minimize physical contact between patients and healthcare providers. At this point, telemedicine services are becoming a major force in the effort to reduce Covid-19 infections and consequently protect health personnel. The effectiveness of telemedicine can be promising for many healthcare fields, including diabetic care, dermatology and cardiology, because it provides high-quality remote care while saving time and physical space. With telemedicine, patients with mild symptoms who are less likely to spread the virus at home as well as symptoms and disease recovery can be monitored remotely, via calls or video chats.
Information dissemination through online surveys and platforms
The spread rate of Covid-19 increases the need for timely monitoring of infected and their contacts. At this point, we encounter crowd-borne disease monitoring. The term “crowd-sourced” means that relevant health information is primarily provided by a large number of people over the Internet, while people are answering online surveys or sharing data through smartphone apps and wearable sensors, while public social media data can also be a passive source of information.
As a successful example of an active crowd-sourced surveillance system, we can show the FluTracking platform of Australia and New Zealand. FluTracking is a simple and fast online survey based on the weekly presentations of many volunteers called “FluTracker”. The system, recently set to Covid-19, aims to complement traditional flu monitoring while providing early outbreak warnings and contributing to research.
Similar efforts targeting Covid-19 are currently being promoted worldwide and aim to provide a better picture of disease spread and early warning of future waves. The real power of crowdsourcing lies in its ability to deliver near real-time information, which provides predictions in a low-cost, fast and engaging way.
As a result, we need well-defined and easy-to-understand principles for the daily use of health technologies in the context of Covid-19. These need to be adjusted to the most vulnerable situations and needs. Whether these patients are patients or healthcare providers, it is also among the requirements to keep users’ expectations realistic.