Remote triage and personalized videos in the Covid-19 phase: a security perspective

Personalized videos in the covid phase: the Covid-19 emergency has prompted health authorities to consider building a remote triage system that ensures traceability and safety for operators and patients. So far, there are only experimental solutions, but one in particular could prove to be very effective.

After putting much of the world’s economy to a stop for over two months, Covid-19 remains even as restrictive measures are gradually loosening around the world. While it is true that the long-term goal is to return to a certain normality, even for the benefit of many economic activities, it is undeniable that it will be a long time before we can consider that we will return to life as it was before the pandemic. Just think of the restaurant and tourism sectors: between the necessary spacing, devices for personal hygiene, reduced capacities, and Plexiglass dividers, going to a restaurant or to the beach will not be like it was before. 

These are just two examples, but it is obvious that the changes will also affect other sectors that are in some respects much more “sensitive.”

 

Changing health care: triage

One such area is, for example, public and private healthcare, which will have to start reconsidering many procedures to ensure the safety of doctors and patients. It is no coincidence that the Italian Ministry of Health has already issued specific recommendations to protect health workers and to reduce the risk of spreading infection since the contagion of health workers has been a significant concern in previous months.

These measures mostly concern the use of specific devices, their disposal, and a proper regime to be maintained before, during, and after hospital visits.

In addition, there is an interesting aspect of health care that is looming in the future and that is the management of patients and their access to health care facilities. In fact, one of the main issues is to avoid large concentrations of positive or negative Covid-19 patients in one place, which can greatly facilitate the expansion of the contagion. For this reason, some initiatives have been proposed to modify hospital triage in order to make access more easily traceable while reducing the number of unnecessary interventions.

 

Not to reduce waiting times, but to prioritize

Normally, intra-hospital triage is a dynamic process with the goal of ensuring that patients receive the level and amount of care most appropriate to their needs, while at the same time ensuring the best possible use of available or allocable resources.

To put it simply, each patient should be treated according to precise timescales and methods based on their condition. 

Typically, the process is as follows: health care staff checks the patient’s vital statistics, records them, assigns a code of severity and the relevant waiting time. During this time, they continue to monitor the patient’s condition to ensure there are no changes. Such a procedure is all the more important in emergency situations, in order to avoid creating a backlog or putting pressure on the healthcare system.

Given that healthcare resources are by their very nature limited, it is essential to have a way to distribute them efficiently, so as to ensure effective, timely, and, above all, adequate treatment for all patients. For this reason, for some time now, and also during this pandemic, alternative triage systems have been tested as an immediate response to moments of health emergency.

 

Remote triage: some examples

A type of triage that has been hypothesized to cope with the Covid-19 emergency is known as remote triage. According to this procedure, health resources that may be of limited in quantity and availability can be allocated appropriately by starting this dynamic screening process even in a pre-hospital phase.

Actually, remote triage is not a new solution; the Ministry of Health has made some recommendations to improve the correct assignment of the triage code and for the re-evaluation of the patient/user’s vital parameters (salute.gov.it).

To date, the simplest and most widespread form of remote triage, in the context of a territorial emergency or involving the 911 service, has been the telephone interview, which is carried out by an operator of the 911 center as soon as an emergency call is received.

Also in this case, the procedures to be followed are rigid and well-defined and require the use of a series of questions to establish the code of severity that corresponds to an intervention profile with specific characteristics adapted to the situation (type of transport used, timeliness, qualification of the rescuers). Such a procedure can be especially useful in cases of emergency, where the 911 service has been activated. On closer inspection, this type of intervention was carried out during the most acute phase of the coronavirus pandemic, since people suspected of being positive were advised not to go to hospitals and to call their doctor or some toll-free numbers. In doing so, attempts were made to remotely identify the most serious cases and to handle the mildest ones at home.

Tracking, distancing, managing: these were the main objectives of the triage procedure that was put in place.

Following the same logic, in phase one in Italy, pre-triage tents were set up outside hospitals in order to accommodate patients who presented symptoms attributable to Covid-19.

Also at the beginning of phase, remote triage was suggested for doctor appointments. Dentists were the first to use these procedures. They recently issued very precise guidelines on how to perform their services safely, including a preliminary telephone phase where patients are asked to respond to a short questionnaire in order to determine whether or not the patient should be admitted to the facility. 

 

Technology also plays its part

While telephone consultation is the “simplest” mode, it is by no means the only possible option. In this sense, digital transformation provides some innovative solutions that can help make triage procedures more efficient and effective.

One example is the digital triage project that Google is developing right now. Google is creating a dedicated website where all people of ages can access a questionnaire created according to the guidelines established by public health officials. At the end of the survey, those who are determined to be likely to have the virus will receive an email of the closest location where they will have access to the Sars-Cov-2 swab test.

Although for the time being this project is geographically limited to the city of San Francisco and its surroundings, it is intended to make a much wider contribution to the screening program put in place by the health authorities.

The Covid-19 emergency has led to the creation of telemedicine projects that aim to combine ordinary triage procedures with alternative, innovative, and digital solutions.

This is the case of the Italian start-up PatchAi, located in Padova, which combines artificial intelligence with medical systems. PatchAi recently developed its Laila chatbot which will be used to interface with patients enrolled in clinical trials. The idea behind PatchAi is to create a real virtual assistant mobile application that, thanks to an innovative algorithm developed following the guidelines of the Ministry of Health, can communicate with users and patients in an empathic way and collect data in real time so as to provide hygiene recommendations and useful contact information (sanita-digitale.com).

The advantages of personalized videos in this Covid-19 phase are so many. Such an application would allow safer patient management and treatment, and it would also allow them to trace the status of each user, so as to follow them throughout the trial process, and, if necessary, intervene with the most appropriate measures. Another aspect that should not be overlooked is that of personalization. The artificial intelligence of some chatbots is able to adapt to the responses that it receives from the user, “learning” from them. One can imagine that in the course of organized digital triage, the chatbot can modify the questions and the verification path, supporting the patient through an appropriate tone, conversation, and personality.

Only afterwards, the information that will be collected will be communicated to the health professional on the other side who will decide the most appropriate intervention.

 

Personalized videos in the Covid-19 phase

The truly innovative aspect of the solution described above is undoubtedly the ability to combine the efficiency of an automated procedure with the perfect personalization of the intervention that artificial intelligence guarantees.

Doxee video technology can be used at particular times to reach recipients with clear, engaging, and personalized messages. We are talking about personalized videos called Doxee Pvideo®.

How can these personalized videos be important in the Covid-19 phase? Doxee Pvideo® content can be customized according to the message you want to transmit and the user you want to reach. Each component of the message conveyed can be personalized according to the data of the recipient. For example, you can insert specific text elements that are perfectly integrated with the content of the video or you can personalize the audio parts so as to convey even the most complex information in an easy way.

Doxee Pvideo® are built using custom narration. Thanks to the Dynamic Storyboard, each recipient can decide how to modify the narrative flow of the content depending on the answers or choices he makes during the viewing. In this way, the video can be manipulated directly by each recipient, but it will show or hide different scenes according to the needs and requirements expressed by the user. All of this happens directly inside the video, making navigation more comfortable and intuitive.

 

The advantages of an innovative approach

Poste Italiane used Doxee Pvideo® to convey the new provisions on digital payments contained in the PSD2 Directive. In this case, with a simple, immediate, and engaging communication, Poste Italiane was able to communicate important and complex information to their customers. 

The same benefits could be obtained by using Doxee Pvideo® to carry out the remote triage mentioned above.

Why are personalized videos important in the Covid-19 phase? Thanks to the immediate communication and the absolute relevance of the information, the recipient would feel immediately involved, all the more so if they received a video that addresses them by name and that takes into account the specific details of their current situation. The video format makes it easy for users to respond to questions and indicate symptoms, and meanwhile, the system would increasingly learn from the patient to become even more responsive to his needs.

Finally, the use of Doxee Pvideo® would give each user immediate feedback, at the end of the video, about the next actions to be taken. In addition to the public or private healthcare facility, it would guarantee the perfect traceability of all patients, who could also be monitored later with a second video. 

 

Download this infographic to learn more about how health will change in a post Covid world

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