Dear Gajanan Phutke
Thank you for your recent message on HIFA 10 December:
Primary health workers and caregivers are in need of information to guide decision-making for people who are sick at home.
Your website makes important observations: "With the ongoing second wave of COVID–19 pandemic, we have been seeing a large number of suspected and confirmed COVID cases in every nook and corner of the remote forest and forest fringe villages. One of the reasons for the high death rate is indecision; delay in decision about when to seek medical care. We see at least 4 to 5 patients coming to our referral centre in Ganiyari everyday with severe hypoxia (saturation below 70%). Such patients require significant medical expertise for management thus requiring a longer hospital stay with oxygen support and despite that, they end up having poorer outcomes as compared to their counterparts who reach a hospital when their oxygen saturation falls just below 90%. There has also been a large number of sudden home deaths especially in patients with comorbidities. We sensed the need for a tool to identify such patients early to be referred to hospital and treated in time in order to combat the common observation of villagers that “Patients are not coming back alive from hospitals”."
Your app 'helps to guide “trained” frontline healthcare workers and caregivers... “Shwaas- A Chikitsa Saathi” is an android mobile application currently available in six languages viz, English, Hindi, Kannada, Telugu, Tamil, and Bangla.'... While finalising the decision making algorithm, we had to face a difficult trade off between simplicity and thoroughness. On the one hand we were trying to come up with an easy to use tool, while on the other hand we did not want to trivialize medical assessment for remotely located rural/ tribal populations.'
I would be interested to hear more about the development process. I suspect similar apps have been developed by different organisations in different countries and in many languages. I wonder whether and how this process can be coordinated to maximise quality and reduce duplication of effort.
Best wishes, Neil
Dr Neil Pakenham-Walsh, HIFA Coordinator
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