Digital Solutions to Manage and Contain Disease Outbreaks
Since the outbreak of the new coronavirus at the end of 2019, Chinese citizens have united to fight against the epidemic. The United Nations, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the international community have given high praise to China’s effective measures in preventing the spread of the epidemic.
Here, the ACCESS Health China team summarizes the efforts and contributions of our alliance members who provide innovative digital solutions to the outbreak control in China. We hope the cases would give insights and lessons to our partners and related enterprises all over the world. At the same time, we sum up the experience and the lessons we learn from the shortcomings exposed in the process of epidemic prevention, and promote the application of digital health in disease control, and further improve China’s capability in responding to public health emergencies.
1. Disease prevention, treatment and management: Telemedicine
Case 1: WeDoctor
In order to minimize the risk of cross-infection and reduce the burden of first-line Health facility, WeDoctor launched the “WeDoctor Consultation and Prevention Center” on January 23 to support the prevention and control of the new coronavirus. More than 40,000 doctors in respiratory, infection, general and critical disease gathered at the platform and provided free online consultation to patients across the country. At the same time, in response to the panic caused by the virus, the platform has also set up a psychological consultation sector. Citizens can conduct self-assessment of post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression, and can also consult online experts. on March 10th , the platform had more than 120 million visits, and provided a total of 1.599 million medical consultation services.
Case 2: More Health
More Health undertook the data collection of “Healthy Wuhan” mobile application led by Wuhan Health Commission. More than 10,000 copies of thermometers and oximeters were presented to Wuhan citizens free of charge through the app. Citizens only need to log in to the “Healthy Wuhan” APP, fill out relevant information to get such medical equipment. These batches of thermometers, oximeters and other disease prevention equipment are smart devices with data transmission functions. Symptoms of COVID-19 infection are not obvious at first, the common clinical diagnosis is persistent high fever and sudden decrease in blood oxygen concentration. With data connecting smart thermometer and oximeter, residents can continuously monitor their own bodies at home and ask for online diagnosis when abnormalities are found. By doing this, a large amount of common cold patients can be diagnosed and treated online and avoid cross-infection in hospital.
In order to support the country’s relentless effort on preventing the virus, reducing the burden on hospitals and eliminating possible cross-infection during medical treatment, JuniperMD teamed up with Healthfutures partners China Primary Health Care Foundation and jointly launched a series of free live broadcasts.
During the broadcast, experts from Sino-US medical service institutions such as Columbia University Medical School, Boston Medical Center, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, and New York Presbyterian Hospital provided patients with remote healthcare consultation. The lectures also focused on topics such as “How to distinguish between common flu and new coronavirus “, “Traditional Chinese and modern at home treatment techniques for common diseases”, and “psychological health maintenance during self isolation”.
Cooperating with Tsinghua University, More Health’s officially launched the first version of “New Coronavirus Open Knowledge Graph ” on OpenKG (http://www.openkg.cn/dataset/
For the general public, the knowledge graph can provide citizen with more clear and intuitive way to understand the pathogenesis, prevention and diagnosis of the new coronavirus. For scientific researchers, they can obtain relatively complete data and information through the knowledge graph and grasp first-hand information in a timely manner.