The coronavirus has widely spread across the globe in the past months
Emergency rooms are packed and it won’t be over. Not that soon as we might desire.
What we foresee is the rise of telemedicine and digital health tools to keep the so-called “worried well” from flooding hospitals.
The World Health Organization and the ECDC recommend and encourage the use of telemedicine apps. Startups and health insurer are offering digital services to public users in order to avoid a run to the health care system.
The development of Digital Health tools, and apps more in general, is a concrete example of the role that new technologies can play in facilitating the relationship between doctors and patients. Receiving valuable feedback, in real time, becomes important in critical situations, such as the emergency of the new Coronavirus in which it is extremely necessary to avoid alarmism and fake news.
In the United States, public companies that offer telemedicine, like Teladoc, are expecting an increased usage. People are using symptom-checkers tools based on guidelines from the CDC. Some other apps give patients the possibility to book an online consult with a doctor or nurse to help them determine if they should see a doctor in-person, go straight to the emergency room or to urgent care.
In Italy, the startup Paginemediche, the leading digital health platform, has activated a chatbot to recognize the symptoms of the new Coronavirus, supporting GPs in managing the requests for information in real time and in containing the spread of fake news.