The response from the healthcare sector to the coronavirus has been a compassionate and inspiring one. No-one would deny, however, that it has taken a considerable toll on frontline staff.
Technology is a powerful tool in our collective action against coronavirus, which is why home care software supplier CarePlanner has come up with a brief overview of some of the apps that have been launched to support the sector.
The apps are all free and are designed to help social care workers do what they do best: take care of people.
The UK Department of Health and Social Care has launched an app to support social care workers in England. The app is designed to be a compendium of resources for care workers. It provides updates, information on infection control and personal support for mental well-being. It also provides users with discounts from organisations and initiatives such as Discounts for Carers and the Blue Light Card.
The app is one of the first major initiatives launched under the government’s CARE brand and can be downloaded on Apple- and Android-supported smartphones or accessed by browsers on any device.
For now it will serve as a practical resource for the social care workforce. However, there is the intention to evolve the app into a networking platform in the future should it prove successful.
C19 Control is a free app that records and reports COVID-19 status and PPE use on the frontline.
Developed by our friends at everyLIFE Technologies, C19 CONTROL gives carers and care managers a way of tracking the COVID-19 status of both staff and those being cared for. This includes identifying those who are self-isolation.
The service also allows carers and teams to report the availability and use of protective equipment. This information is then shared with care managers in real time.
As well as supporting the delivery of care, the information gathered by C19 CONTROL can be shared to support the wider response to COVID-19. Automated reporting and heatmaps can be shared with public services, including regulators and NHS as well as local, regional and national government.
Frontline Rewards App
The Frontline Rewards App is an instant discounts app designed as a thank you to key workers. While the app does include specific deals for NHS workers, it is still available to all frontline workers. Discounts cover a huge range of products from takeaways to home improvements. It has been highly successful, receiving thousands of sign-ups since launching.
Similar to C19 Control, Frontline Rewards is a free service developed by software developers who felt they could help the frontline workforce. Redu has been providing a professional version of this service for over six years and it recognised how its technology could be used to support healthcare workers, releasing Frontline Rewards in March.
In the past, mental health was a frequently overlooked casualty of life on the frontline of care. Fortunately, there has been a growing focus on the importance of looking after our emotional and physical well-being. Frontline 19 recognises that need and is offering 12 free therapy sessions to healthcare workers during this crisis.
Signing up for the sessions is a straightforward process and you can decide how frequently you wish to have them. There is no commitment or cost and all the therapists are qualified professionals who have volunteered their time.
National Care Force
The National Care Force is a free online platform set up to help social care providers fill staff gaps with health workers and volunteers during the coronavirus outbreak. It was set up by the team at Florence and is another example of experienced software developers pivoting their technology to help support social care during this crisis.
The platform works by allowing volunteers and healthcare workers to book shifts available across the social care sector.
After going through compliance checks, including qualifications and criminal record, users update their profile with skills and experience.
Care providers follow a similar process, adding details about their care setting and skills required. The platform’s algorithm will match relevant positions to users.
Contact Tracing App
While it is not currently available to anyone outside of the Isle of Wight, this app will form the government’s main digital counteraction against COVID-19.
The app is designed for people to self-report symptoms and help create a public map of COVID-19 infection. Each user’s anonymity is protected by a random ID number assigned to their device upon signing up.
Developed by NHSX, and a team of scientists and doctors, the app is designed to speed up contact tracing, helping reduce the chance of the virus spreading by identifying people most at risk of infection so they can take action to protect themselves and their loved ones.
The app is very much in its testing phase – tests that require at least 60% of the Isle of Wight to take part to be considered successful. However, there have been inevitable speed bumps in the process, so a UK wide version is likely some weeks off yet.