Author: Clement Ng
The COVID-19 pandemic has transformed lives and impacted society globally. Health systems everywhere are being tested and in some cases overwhelmed. To face this threat people are working together to find ways to be more efficient and to maximize the tools at their disposal.
For us at Smile Digital Health, healthcare interoperability and collaboration is the core of what we do. Like many of you, we feel a special responsibility in this time of crisis to contribute our skills, experience and talents. What’s clear is that we can scale our efforts and achieve better results if we pull together. That means working with other vendors, industry groups, international health organizations, governments and anyone else that wishes to contribute to finding solutions. A global crisis needs a global response.
Fortunately, many of the tools and communities we work with everyday in health IT are well suited to help address this global health emergency. In particular, we believe open data standards and open source technologies have a key role to play.
To this end, we together with the others in FHIRBall are developing an open source COVID-19 focused toolkit that supports sharing information, reporting status and condition and helping to track movements. The system will work for both healthcare professionals and members of the public, enabling each to report information electronically. We envision that the applications can be used by public health officials and healthcare providers to track the spread of the disease, interact with the population and get help where it is needed. It will be used to create reports that are based on information received from participants and it will share information as is allowed by policy. In addition, we will try to plug into other similar initiatives that are springing up, headed by like minded individuals and organisations.
We expect that in addition to getting information from users, the system will distribute information to users. The users should get accurate information about local services, tools to interact with public health, and ways to request assistance from the community.
So far we’ve developed a self-assessment tool that will help people self-evaluate based on guidance from public health officials, and collect and share this data via a report if consent and authorization is given. We are also building a clinical form, based on WHO recommendations, that will enable providers to submit clinical reports to public health officials online.
Since our efforts are in the public domain, all are welcome to use and extend them as necessary. If you wish to participate, we have other applications planned and are happy to have help.
Our public code repository can be found here: https://github.com/hapifhir/covid-response-app
We want to be part of the solution and contribute to #BetterGlobalHealth and encourage others to join us. Want to get involved? Get in touch and let us know how you’d like to help!
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