To address the current pandemic, multiple studies have focused on the development of new mHealth apps to help in curbing the number of infections, these applications aim to accelerate the identification and self-isolation of people exposed to SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus known to cause COVID-19, by being in close contact with infected individuals. The main objectives of this paper are: (1) Analyze the current status of COVID-19 apps available on the main virtual stores: Google Play Store and App Store for Spain, and (2) Propose a novel mobile application that allows interaction and doctor-patient follow-up without the need for real-time consultations (face-to-face or telephone). In this research, a search for eHealth and telemedicine apps related to Covid-19 was performed in the main online stores: Google Play Store and App Store, until May 2021. Keywords were entered into the search engines of the online stores and relevant apps were selected for study using a PRISMA methodology. For the design and implementation of the proposed app named COVINFO, the main weaknesses of the apps studied were taken into account in order to propose a novel and useful app for healthcare systems. The search yielded a total of 50 apps, of which 24 were relevant to this study, of which 23 are free and 54% are available for Android and iOS operating systems (OS). The proposed app has been developed for mobile devices with Android OS being compatible with Android 4.4 and higher. This app enables doctor-patient interaction and constant monitoring of the patient’s progress without the need for calls, chats or face-to-face consultation in real time. This work addresses design and development of an application for the transmission of the user’s symptoms to his regular doctor, based on the fact that only 16.6% of existing applications have this functionality. The COVINFO app offers a novel service: asynchronous doctor-patient communication, as well as constant monitoring of the patient’s condition and evolution. This app makes it possible to better manage the time of healthcare personnel and avoid overcrowding in hospitals, with the aim of preventing the collapse of healthcare systems and the spread of the coronavirus.

Fuente: Scientific Reports
Published: 25 October 2022