University of Melbourne Leads Clinical Trial to Assess Digital App to Monitor COVID-19 Symptoms from Home & Identify Mental Health Needs

University of Melbourne Leads Clinical Trial to Assess Digital App to Monitor COVID-19 Symptoms from Home & Identify Mental Health Needs TrialsiteN

Investigators at the University of Melbourne’s Department of General Practice lead a clinical trial to investigate the safety and efficacy of CovidCare, a new app that helps patients in self-isolation monitor for COVID-19 symptoms while also support study personnel in identifying patient mental health needs. Developed by a team of medical and digital experts, CovidCare offers self-monitoring support to patients with symptoms or a diagnosis of COVID-19 by measuring things such as their heart rate, body temperature, and shortness of breath. By including a pre-designed assessment, the app can probe for emotional needs as well be associated with the impact of self-isolation and mental health issues relating to the pandemic.

The COVID-19 pandemic has fundamentally impacted societies around the world moving forward. In addition to the unprecedented social, economic, and healthcare related implications, mental health and emotional strains are now being considered. The way individuals deal with self-isolation associated with the current pandemic and others moving forward has the interest of researchers, physicians, and mental health care professionals. New digital apps offer possible ways to support those needing to self-isolate while monitoring and tracking their health condition.

TrialSite News offers a brief breakdown of this interesting study and investigational digital health solution.

What research center(s) are leading the clinical trial assessing the CovidCare digital app?

University of Melbourne (Department of General Practice) along with Swinburne University.

Who developed the app?

Two Bulls, a digital product company, is a boutique software development firm. As reported on their site, “We work with a select group of major clients and leading startups to create amazing products. We also develop a range of products in-house for things that we’re uniquely passionate about. We provide digital and product strategy consulting to our clients and then we design, build, and release those products globally. We have expertise in a variety of fields and offices in New York, Berlin, and Melbourne. We do all of our design and development in-house.”

What about the app?

Called CovidCare, the app was designed for the University of Melbourne Medical School. It is now the centerpiece of a clinical trial testing the safety and efficacy of the app. COVID-19 positive or symptomatic patients at participating respiratory clinics nationally will use the app to regularly monitor their symptoms as well as their mental health during self-isolation.

What are some key drivers for this study?

Victoria Palmer, University of Melbourne Associate Professor, reports that the results of this clinical trial will inform government, research and industry response to future pandemics of this kind. In addition to helping patients to regularly monitor their symptoms as well as their mental health during self-isolation, James Kane, Two Bulls CEO, noted, “CovidCare is a tool that supports patients and clinicians.”

Who are the principal investigators involved?

Victoria Palmer, Associate Professor

Dr. Mukesh Haikerwal, Associate Professor

Jeremy Goldin, Associate Professor

Bruce Thompson, PhD candidate, Faculty of Health, Arts & Design, Swinburne University