MedTech companies are continuing to support the NHS in its fight against coronavirus.
Healthcare software companies, in particular, have stepped up to the mark, offering innovative solutions to help support hospitals and other medical providers with everything from formulating staffing rotas to collecting the all-important data which will help them to plan services as the pandemic continues
And many are offering these free of charge to help overcome any funding issues trusts are currently facing and to enable them to be rolled out without delay.
Following calls from the Government to stop non-urgent contact and protect those most vulnerable, the care sector is facing unprecedented social and operational challenges of lockdown conditions.
PatientSource, for example, has announced it will be offering an adapted version of its Electronic Patient Record (EPR) software to healthcare organisations across the globe, completely free of charge and with minimal cloud hosting costs.
Installed and ready to go in as little as an hour; the solution helps trusts keep a ‘digital eye’ on the ever-increasing number of COVID-19 patients.
Dr Michael Brooks, chief medical officer and co-founder, said: “COVID-19 is a virus that spreads quickly and causes an appreciable minority of people to need hospital care.
“Put those two figures together, and you get a virus that will easily overwhelm any country’s healthcare system.
“Our PatientSource COVID-19 tracker will show which affected patients are in a hospital or ward, what their latest vitals are, the plans for escalation, and who the expected incoming cases are in real-time. This allows operators to identify the patients who need oxygen bays and those who need critical care input, allowing you to allocate limited resources to those who need them quickly.”
And Person Centred Software has announced it is opening up its Relatives Gateway platform to all UK care homes free of charge to help them maintain communication with families during these unprecedented times.
Allowing secure social media-style messages and photos to be shared between care home residents and their families, it will also give carers an efficient way to provide wellbeing updates to concerned loved ones.
Jonathan Papworth, founder and director, said this would provide an important lifeline, adding: “Following calls from the Government to stop non-urgent contact and protect those most vulnerable, the care sector is facing unprecedented social and operational challenges of lockdown conditions.
We stand ready to help our communities in any way we can and in any manner they need
“Putting people and personal interaction at the heart of care is vital and it’s important that care home residents who miss out on visits from loved ones stay connected – while families and friends remain updated about their day-to-day wellbeing.”
Digital healthcare provider, Babylon, has also launched the new COVID-19 Care Assistant, which can be used 24/7 and combines continually-updated information, triage, live chat, symptom tracking, virtual consultation and referrals.
Chief executive, Dr Ali Parsa, said: “COVID-19 is the biggest public health threat to our communities for nearly a century and Babylon has a huge obligation to help.
“We were founded to help tackle the challenges of accessibility and affordability of healthcare for every person on earth by using technology to increase the reach and impact of healthcare professionals.
“The combination of our technology and clinical service allows our doctors and nurses to use their time for the most-suited tasks, while amplifying their expertise for the benefit of all our patients.
“We stand ready to help our communities in any way we can and in any manner they need.”
To help address issues with staffing and coronavirus-related absences, Selenity is providing free access to its ER Tracker, the UK's leading HR case management system.
Neil Everatt, company chief executive, said: “During this unprecedented time, looking after employees is high priority and we appreciate the challenges organisations will face in tracking and managing COVID-1- related absences.
“It was an absolute no-brainer for us to offer businesses our HR solution free of charge.”
And companies are also helping with cybersecurity. Bitdefender, for example, today announced it will offer its enterprise-grade security solutions free of charge to all healthcare organisations worldwide in an effort to contribute to the global support effort.
It comes as the company’s research shows that the number of malicious reports related to COVID-19 has increased by more than 475% so far in March.
And, by the end of the month, attacks are expected to increase by more than five times the total of incidents in February.
Hackers have acted opportunistically and unethically, taking advantage of this time of uncertainty to deliver malware, conduct phishing, and perform online fraud against the organisations affected most
The largest number of malicious reports have been registered in the United States, Turkey, France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Spain, Canada, Romania and Thailand, as these malware campaigns have focused on the countries with a high number of positive coronavirus cases.
“Hackers have acted opportunistically and unethically, taking advantage of this time of uncertainty to deliver malware, conduct phishing, and perform online fraud against the organisations affected most,” said Florin Talpes, chief executive of Bitdefender.
“We are thankful for the work of healthcare professionals worldwide and aim to support them by providing protection for their organisations’ sensitive information in a way that assures operational continuity and lets them focus on treating patients and slowing the spread of this virus.”