In the UK and across the world, hospitals have seen record admissions this winter amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Scientists feared this would happen for much of 2020, as laboratory testing found that Covid-19 was neutralised by ultraviolet sunlight but spread easily in dry, cold conditions. As skies darken and temperatures plummet, healthcare systems need to do all they can to keep the number of patients hospitalised to a minimum.
Enter Covid-19 Virtual Wards (CVWs). For hospitalised Covid-19 patients with an improving clinical trajectory, who nevertheless still need close monitoring, CVWs can allow them to head home from hospital early. This frees up their bed for a sicker patient who might need it, while allowing them to continue their recovery at home, safe in the knowledge that they’ll be promptly readmitted to hospital if things take a turn for the worse.
CVW patients are provided with a pulse oximeter and asked to take daily readings at home, alongside information about temperature and symptoms, which are uploaded into an app driven by artificial intelligence (AI). If the AI detects any abnormalities in patient data that could indicate a need for medical attention, hospital staff are notified and can take appropriate action.
Virtual wards were launched before the Covid-19 pandemic took hold, but have been of particular benefit now that the healthcare system has become so stretched.
Luscii is facilitating Covid-19 virtual wards across Europe and Africa
Remote healthcare platform Luscii is one of the tools now being used to facilitate a remote Covid-19 care.
Luscii’s CVWs are configured for the needs of each ward they are being used on, and can be rolled out within around three to five days.
Luscii founder and CEO Professor Daan Dohmen says: “In the Luscii platform there is an algorithm setting, which will detect which patients are at risk or need extra attention. An alert is automatically signalled and a nurse will then look deeper into the medical file of the patient and their data and can reach out via phone or video call, in order to do further triage and decide whether a doctor needs to be seen or an ambulance has to be sent.”
Almost 50% of hospitals in the Netherlands, where Luscii originates, use the platform for different diseases. In Europe the software is also being used in Ireland, the UK and Sweden, while in Africa it is being used in Nigeria, Kenya and Ghana.