Thousands of NHS staff are embracing new technology to help them cope during the coronavirus outbreak. Pando Health, which was built by NHS doctors and allows clinicians to rapidly and securely contact their colleagues via an app, has seen an 700% increase in daily downloads during March, compared to the previous month. They are now seeing over 75,000 messages exchanged via their network every day after NHS staff turn to tech to pool resources and coordinate their COVID-19 response.
With over 1,000 healthcare workers signing up each day (roughly equivalent to that of an entire hospital), apps like Pando are ensuring clinicians have the tools they need to deal with the current levels of demand.
This connectivity may prove invaluable in the fight against coronavirus as clinical teams across the UK work together to locate key equipment across the NHS network, share expertise between wards, and make decisions remotely if and when clinicians are required to self-isolate. Pando means the cumbersome process of bleeps, switchboards and pagers, (or the insecurities of Whatsapp), can be avoided – rapidly speeding up information exchange. It’s also completely secure, so NHS staff and health professionals can share sensitive patient information safely.
Dr Barney Gilbert, NHS Doctor and co-CEO of Pando, says: “Innovation, ingenuity and sheer resilience are going to pull us through this crisis. And the NHS is brilliant at stepping up to all three. The speed at which individuals and teams have embraced technology such as Pando to cope with this unprecedented demand is incredibly encouraging and we’re humbled to be playing a role in helping strengthen our clinical defences.
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“Not only are we removing administrative burdens for those on the front line, but we’re also enabling the remote communications needed to keep as many clinicians safe from exposure as possible. For example, we’re seeing a major spike in use from dermatology teams. Clinicians on the ward can securely send a photo and description to dermatologists off-site and instantly seek their expertise.
“It’s an incredibly tough time for doctors, nurses and carers on the frontline. Anything we can do to ease the burden and reduce inefficiencies is vital. The new technologies currently defining our coronavirus response will completely transform how the health service functions for years to come; and only for the better.”
The app is also being used to offer continuity of primary and community care. One mental health occupational therapist commented:
“Thanks to Pando, we have been able to continue running a support network for our vulnerable patients with mental health difficulties, despite all now working remotely due to coronavirus. Through the app we have been able to coordinate our workflow, discuss confidential information and avoid time lost ringing around for updates.”