App-supported care for Long Covid patients, optimising health care access
In late 2020, the Trust had approximately 4000 patients requiring some level of Post-Covid review following the first wave of Covid. This was a significant challenge magnified by the complex challenges of Covid on the NHS. We developed an app to facilitate a novel approach to the rehabilitative journey, with an MVP in use from August 2020. Patients were invited by the Trust to be screened for after-Covid needs, and were then referred to the app. One patient could be reviewed weekly in about 3 minutes via the app’s dashboard with RAG rated outcomes, tabulated PROM history and easy access to a range of patient facing tools.
- Patients were managed 10 times more efficiently.
- A significant increase in capacity; one physiotherapist could manage a caseload of 100 patients in the equivalent time it would take to see around 10 patients face to face, expanding clinical capacity tenfold without the additional costs of face-to-face appointments.
- In the first six months, 99 patients have been registered on the app. Of these >60% use the app regularly, with engagement probably outperforming that of face-to-face clinics.
- Looking at those patients who have been on the app for at least one week, patients undertake a mean average 7.0 actions per week, covering recording weight and completing a patient reported outcome measure (PROM) such as FACIT-F, Covid Recovery, GAD-7, MRC Breathlessness, D-12, tracking exercise and/or fatigue diary.
- On average each patient has read eleven articles with approximately half of patients creating and tracking goals.
- Patients recovering from Covid-19 report multiple and often variable symptoms. The app allows patients a new tier of healthcare access, providing specialist services in a personalised manner. For these patients, as for many with chronic disease, it is crucial that they feel supported in the process and encouraged in their self-management and rehabilitation.
- This app provides a platform to meet that need in an efficient manner, bridging the gap between clinical care and self-management and improving patient outcomes. Recovery is a journey, and via the app patients can be safely monitored and receive care; this enables them to feel seen, heard and believed.
- We are working with WHO to support international delivery.
Read more on the NHS website.