A new app that turns a phone into a scanner for illnesses such as Covid, flu or monkeypox is now available for all NHS Trusts. ClearScreen, developed by UK-based diagnostics technology company TestCard, immediately records patients’ test results digitally and transmits them to the electronic patient record in seconds.
And it means the result is available to all clinical teams in less than 10 minutes – compared to up to 24 hours previously.
The phone camera can scan a Covid PCR test and check for a line indicating whether the patient is positive or negative.
It will even pick up a faint line, ruling out human error. The results are then uploaded, eliminating time-consuming paperwork.
A 12-month pilot used to test for coronavirus at London’s Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust last year found the charting of lateral flow results in patient records rose from 30 percent to over 95 percent.
Repeat testing was reduced by 75 percent due to the immediate availability of results.
There was also identification of three to four asymptomatic A&E admissions per day, preventing possible hidden transmissions.
The hospital also became the first in the world to use a rapid Flu and Covid Test which is read by the app.
It is a dual lateral flow device – testing for Covid, Influenza A, and Influenza B at the same time – using a single nasal swab.
Within minutes of arrival at St Thomas’ A&E, patients were swabbed, tested, and cohorted, keeping staff, patients, and visitors safer from cross-infections and keeping patients moving through the hospital.
It is hoped the app will ease pressure on the NHS and also reduce costs.
The app can test for anything using a lateral flow test, such as pregnancy or monkeypox.
Dr Rahul Batra, deputy director for the Centre for Clinical Infection and Diagnostics Research at Guy’s and St Thomas’, said
that his team was “able to rapidly test and digitally report results for both Covid and flu from a single nasal swab in 10 minutes”.
He added: “This solution in the emergency department allowed for timely diagnosis, decreased isolation room use, and improved result reporting, thus leading to safer patient flow throughout the hospital.
“It also meant we have now moved the whole testing process from the central lab right into triage, thus providing a test and result at first point of patient care.”
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