New app aims to improve care for tens of thousands of Scots with long Covid
A new app could help tens of thousands of Scots suffering from long Covid get more targeted care and support.
Healthcare Improvement Scotland launched the new app, which has different versions for patients and health professionals.
An estimated 60,000 Scots have developed long Covid – which can see sufferers endure symptoms such as fatigue, chest pains and a shortness of breath for weeks or months after contracting the virus – and the app includes a symptom diary which can be updated daily.
GPs can then download these details to help patients access the care they need.
The app is based on a UK clinical guideline for long Covid which Healthcare Improvement Scotland worked on along with the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) in England and the Royal College of General Practitioners.
Dr David Blane, of the Institute of Health and Wellbeing at the University of Glasgow who helped draw up the guideline, welcomed the app.
He said: “There are thousands of people with long Covid across Scotland and many are not getting the healthcare support they need.
“This app, and the symptom diary in particular, should help people with long Covid to monitor and discuss their symptoms with healthcare professionals, improving mutual understanding of their condition and hopefully improving that support.”
The app – available from the Apple app store and Google Play – was also welcomed by long Covid sufferer Chris White, from Glasgow.
He said: “I expected I would recover from Covid-19 with very few problems, but that wasn’t the case. There were unexplained symptoms that would come and go, tiredness, fatigue, mental exhaustion, unexplained aches and pains and this confusion of memory fog. How do you explain that to a doctor?
“I hope that having an easy-to-use symptom tracker will help me better explain what I am experiencing, and then maybe we could work on solutions to managing my illness.”
Mabli Godden, a long Covid patient who was part of an independent expert advisory panel for the development of the guideline and also advised on the app, said it had been set up with “consideration and care as to the needs of long Covid patients”.
She added: “It allows us to keep track of symptoms and personalise symptoms tracking to our needs.
“At a time that can be uncertain and distressing. it is positive to see a patient-centred care tool which at once gives us the opportunity to keep all our symptoms and concerns in one place and takes the onus of co-ordinating care off of patients.”
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