Long Covid patients in Salford have been given access to a mobile app and clinical website to support their recovery.
They are the first to begin using the app in an implementation by the Northern Care Alliance (NCA) NHS Group and Salford City Council’s health improvement service.
It has been developed by digital health company Elaros in partnership with the University of Leeds, and enables patients to self-report symptoms and their impact on daily health and wellbeing.
It draws on scientific research to take users through a series of questions on their current health status and how it was before contracting Covid, with the information displayed in radar plots and uploaded into the patient record.
Patients are asked to provide regular updates.
Previously, the Salford team had been using the Covid-19 Yorkshire Rehabilitation Scale to support diagnosis and assessment of long Covid symptoms, with the information being collated manually.
Programme manager Sarah Cannon said: “The app means information can now be sent electronically direct to the Long Covid Clinic team, so they have information ahead of appointments. We can even decide on the length and type of appointments using the tool to match the needs of the patient.
“The tool will also help with reporting data required for long Covid at a national level.”
Patients keen to use
Taruna Patel from Salford’s Single Point of Access team said: “Our patients are very keen to use the app as another tool. By inputting the information themselves, they will be able to see how their health is improving over time and use the information to form a discussion with their clinician, as well as to show their family.
“Previously we were making calls and asking people around 30 questions over the phone with the varying responses. It was quite tiring for patients and time consuming, particularly those with severe long Covid symptoms.”
NCA – which brings together services for the Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust and the Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust – said the app has been recommended by NHS England and NHS Improvement.
The Office of National Statistics has estimated that 1.1 million people in the UK currently have the persistent symptoms of long Covid.
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