Mobile App developed by startup to help nurses reduce physical contact with COVID-19 patients

smartphone application to hospitals that allows coronavirus patients to communicate their needs to nurses without physical interaction

With the incidence of new COVID-19 cases growing by the day, healthcare stakeholders are continuing to search for tools and medications to help stem the tide. 

A japan based start-up company is offering a smartphone application that allows coronavirus patients to communicate their needs to nurses in hospitals without any physical interaction, potentially helping ward off cluster outbreaks.

Hospital patients usually use the nurse call button once they need something, but those admitted with COVID-19 are placed in isolation wards and physical contact with nurses, who must wear protective gear, is kept to a minimum to stop the spread of the virus among staff.

With the app, developed by OPERe, a corporation established by former nurse Yuka Sawada, patients can ask nurses to shop for things from shops on their behalf, request changes to meal quantities and record their body temperatures. Whatever is inputted appears immediately on screens at nurse stations.

The app, which has now been installed in several hospitals, offers different categories, reflecting data on patients’ needs gathered from interviews with hospitals.

Hospital in Tokyo’s Setagaya Ward named Nissan Tamagawa, which installed the app in May, has received positive feedback from patients.

During the talk with patient , One patient said to hospital that, for fear of infecting others people, “I would have hesitated to call the nurse for something trivial.”

The app has also helped nurses work more efficiently. They can now deal with several requests at once, such as using occasions when they deliver meals to patients to also respond to their other needs.

The app has also helped nurses work more efficiently. They can now deal with several requests at same time like when they deliver meals to patients and also they can respond to their other needs whatever requested by patient by the app.

“It is necessary to reduce human interaction and protect the safety of staff at the same time, while keeping track of the patient’s situation and demands given the hospital’s limited time and resources,” said Yumiko Takahashi, the director of nurses at the hospital.

She said the app makes it easier for patients to make requests to the nurses, but added she hopes patients continue to use the call button for emergencies.

However, there are concerns that the patients’ requests could increase the workload of the nurses.

“I would like to continue to update the app to support frontline nurses working at the risk of being infected,” Sawada said.

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