New York: Researchers including one of Indian descent are developing a coronavirus app that would soon allow people to get a risk assessment at home based on how they feel and where they have been in about a minute, and target those deemed at risk to closer final testing facility.
Researchers believe the app should be available within a few weeks and will be free of charge because it solves a public health problem.
It will also help provide public and local health officials with real-time information on emerging demographics of people most at risk of coronavirus so they can better target prevention and treatment initiatives, according to a study published in the journal Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology. .
“We wanted to help identify people at high risk of coronavirus, help speed up their access to screening and medical treatment and reduce the spread of this infectious disease,” said one of the authors of the Arni S.R. Srinivasa Rao of the Medical College of Georgia of the University of Augusta in the United States.
The app will ask people where they live; other demographics such as gender, age and race; and recent contacts with an individual known to have coronavirus or who has traveled to areas, such as Italy and China, with a relatively high incidence of viral infection in the past 14 days.
It will also ask for the most common symptoms of infection and their duration including fever, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, sputum production, headache, diarrhea and pneumonia.
It will also allow the collection of similar information for those who live with the person but who cannot complete their survey.
Artificial intelligence will then use an algorithm developed by Rao to quickly evaluate the individual’s information, send them a risk assessment – no risk, minimal risk, moderate or high risk – and alert the nearest facility with test capability that is health check is probably needed.
If the patient is unable to travel, the nearest facility will be informed of the need for a mobile health check and any remote tests.
Collective information from many people will help the rapid and accurate identification of geographic regions, including cities, counties, cities and villages, where the virus circulates, and the relative risk in that region, so that healthcare facilities and suppliers can prepare better resources than they can need, said Rao.
It will also help investigators learn more about how the virus is spreading, investigators from the Medical College of Georgia said.
Once the app is ready, it will live on the augusta.edu domain and likely in the app stores on the iOS and Android platforms, according to the Medical College of Georgia.
Investigators hope that this readily available method of assessing an individual’s risk may actually help allay any developing panic or undue concern about coronavirus or COVID-19.
This story was published by a wire agency feed with no changes to the text. Only the title has been changed.