MyCovid Passport White Paper
Effective patient-health communication during outbreaks is a critical missing piece in the mitigation and management of Covid-19 in the US.
Covid-19 is a rapidly evolving global pandemic where local and state organizations, health care systems, and the general public must all work together to effectively mitigate its spread. The general public is presented with daily uncertainties and increased anxiety over illness symptoms in the face of the Covid-19 outbreak that coincides with the seasonal variation of other viral infections, such as influenza. With data surrounding Covid-19 still emerging, organizations at the frontlines of public health management and patient care are finding health communication to be a bottleneck to effective triage. Health systems are the critical interface during this time, but they need functionality on multiple levels. Emerging challenges for the US outbreak of CoVID-19 are threefold (1) Effective health communication with the general public, (2) Providing actionable self-tracking and monitoring so users can feel more comfortable understanding where they stand and where they may need guidance, and (3) A clinical modality for rapid and streamlined assessment of patient symptoms and risk when healthcare resources are strained.
Fighting Viral Fear
Daily life does not stop just because we are in uncertain times. Yet there are social and civic ramifications of Covid-19–cancellations of school, work, travel now related to positive cases of this disease. The full burden of viral infection is not yet known in the US. The US has not had to guide its constituents in terms of social distancing and quarantine because they have been rare in the last 50 years. HCOs and technology tools can aid in the process of helping communities and patients fight their fears of this virus, and take cautious steps forward, and provide actionable self monitoring of both chronic health conditions and viral symptoms during this outbreak. Anthropological research provides the background for understanding how to mobilize communities and individuals during health crises as partners for management of viral outbreaks. It has been shown that empowering individuals with actionable information helps ease worry and anxiety.
Communities of adults and children face uncertainty regarding Covid-19 disease causing psychological and physical distress. These communities may have had a school shuttered or a trip cancelled due to concerns about this virus. Most people simply need guideposts about how to think about themselves and their loved ones amidst this global health situation. Although there are summary statements describing the epidemiology and symptomatology of this disease, most people or potential patients do not have a way to track their own illnesses, exposures and risk. Filling this education and process gap for patients is critical to their ability to function within an HCO network.
What does the public need?
The public is reliant on information generated from many agencies and institutions, not all of which have their best interests in mind. The public needs accurate, timely and helpful information and guidance from reliable sources. The average community will not be able to access all levels of information or sources that are available at large. The pruning and packaging of information as a best practice for the public is imperative.
What do health care systems and clinicians need?
Health care systems need mechanisms of informing and educating the public about their comprehensive approach and response to serious health conditions, new therapies and their ability to lead locally in assuring the health of their communities . Clinicians want to know they have a framework themselves for thinking about Covid-19, which is currently reproduced from the CDC/WHO into informational and clinical pathways and procedures within HCOs. However, clinicians are subjected to the presentation of the patient, which can be chaotic and frantic in the face of a new infectious disease like Covid-19. If patients can come to HCOs armed with a toolkit to understand their current level of illness, to manage their knowledge and fears about this virus, seeking care, there will be efficiency in managing this uncertain epidemic.
What do our patients need?
The cohort of the public that HCOs consider patients, need protection, validated information, and a roadmap to managing this crisis.
The MyCovid Passport mobile application provides potential patients with a medically validated way to track their symptoms and risks in 5 biomarkers: breathing, temperature, body symptoms(GI/fatigue/myalgia), health and age risks, and daily routines+contacts with potential source patients with known or suspected Covid-19. The MyCoVID Passport educates patients about typical symptoms of Covid-19 and risk factors within the daily lives of patients(comorbidities, age, community contacts). The MyCovid Passport also positions patients for seeking appropriate clinical assessment within ambulatory clinics, urgent care and emergency rooms based on their tracking. The Passport educates patients about what is likely in clinical visits where triage, safety, and testing are paramount to safe and effective healthcare related to this virus and other common viruses still present now in the US (influenza, RSV).
Evidence for the Proposed Solution
MyCovid Passport is created by the team at PreeMe+You, utilizing the proprietary algorithm and architecture created for the PreeMe App that has shown clinical significance in improving health communication and care for parents of premature infants during NICU stay. The PreeMe system has shown the accuracy of tracking at the level of intensive care, improvements in parenting quality of life and decreased resource use amongst parents who track compared to those who do not. The medical and anthropological importance of having a mechanism of clarifying symptoms and risks while layering both medical content and medical advice about the premature infant is imperative to parent/patient functioning.
How the proposed solution meets the challenge?
The MyCovid Passport makes available content that hospitals, public health departments and clinicians want patients to be able to access ahead of the interface with medical care. This ‘digital front door,’ to the hospital, emergency room, ambulatory setting ensures that patients present having tracked their symptoms ahead of care. This is invaluable in terms of early triage and care for very ill patients but also for the large subset of patients who will be low risk in the face of CoVID-19 and can be handled accordingly.
Dr. Yaya Ren, PhD/ JD
Technology & Chief Medical Anthropologist
Dr. Bree Andrews, MD/MPH
Pediatrics/Neonatology, UChicago Medicine
Medical Advisor/Co-Founder, PreeMe+You
Dr. Stephen Schrantz, MD
Infectious Disease/Adult Medicine/Pediatrics, UChicago Medicine
Medical Advisor, PreeMe+You
Dr. Elliott Cohen, MD
Business & Communication Strategy, PreeMe+You
Community Engagement & Project Manager, PreeMe+You
Chief UX & Technology Officer, PreeMe+You
Onboarding for hospitals, providers and patients for the mobile application.
Real time metrics on patient use, tracking variables and presentation to HCOs for care.