BMC Infect Dis. 2021 Feb 27;21(1):229. doi: 10.1186/s12879-021-05898-y.
BACKGROUND: The massive outbreak of the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Daegu city and Gyeongsangbuk-do, Republic of Korea (ROK), caused the exponential increase in new cases exceeding 5000 within 6 weeks. Therefore, the community treatment center (CTC) with a digital health care monitoring system based on the smartphone application and personal health record platform (PHR) was implemented. Thus, we report our experience in one of the CTCs to investigate the role of CTC and the feasibility of the digital health care monitoring system in the COVID-19 pandemic.
METHODS: The Gyeongbuk-Daegu 2 CTC was set up at the private residential facility. Admission criteria were 1) patients < 65 years with COVID-19, 2) patients without underlying medical comorbidities, and 3) COVID-19 disease severity of mild class. Admitted patients were placed under monitoring of vital signs and symptoms. Clinical information was collected using the smartphone application or telephone communication. Collected information was displayed on the PHR platform in a real-time fashion for close monitoring.
RESULTS: From Mar 3, 2020, to Mar 26, 2020, there was a total of 290 patients admitted to the facility. Males were 104 (35.9%). The median age was 37 years. The median time between the COVID-19 diagnosis and admission was 7 days. Five patients were identified and were transferred to the designed COVID-19 treatment hospital for their urgent medical needs. The smartphone application usage to report vital signs and symptoms was noted in 96% of the patients. There were no deaths of the patients.
CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that implementation of the CTC using a commercial residence facility and digital health care technology may offer valuable solutions to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 outbreak.