Currently submitted to: JMIR Public Health and Surveillance
Date Submitted: Jun 21, 2020
Open Peer Review Period: Jun 20, 2020 - Jul 4, 2020
(currently open for review)
Hospital Epidemics Tracker (HEpiTracker): Description and pilot study of a mobile app to track COVID-19 epidemics in hospital workers
Hospital workers are the professional group more frequently and severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Innovative tools are required to measure in real-time the symptoms compatible with COVID-19 and the spread of infection and testing within hospitals.
We aimed to develop and test a feasible easy-to-use tool to identify and track the symptoms of suspected COVID-19 in hospital workers.
We summarize the development of HEpiTracker, a new App to track COVID-19 epidemics in hospitals, and describe its pilot study. Hospital staff in nine centers in five regions (Andalucia, Balearics, Catalonia, Galicia, and Madrid) in Spain were invited to upload in their smartphone the App via https://www.hepitracker.com, and to enter daily their body temperature, COVID-19 compatible symptoms and scoring of their general health, plus any serological test results with dates.
From 8 April to 2 June 2020, a total of 477 hospital staff participated. They were 323 (67.5%) female, with age 45.4¬Ī10.6 years, with 13.0% current- and 34.2% former-smokers. There were no significant differences by age (p=0.192) or sex (p=0.107) within centres. All sorts of health (n=329) and non-health (n=148) related professions participated. The daily report of symptoms was highly variable from the source population in each hospital, with a decline in adherence/participation after an initial peak in some hospitals, while in others participation rate was regularly poor.
HEpiTracker is a feasible, and already available tool to monitor COVID-19 and other epidemics in hospital workers, and already tested positively in real conditions. It is available in Spanish, Portuguese and English and may be a customized asset to be used in future COVID-19 pandemic waves and other environments. Clinical Trial: NCT04326400
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