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      The Use of Digital Health in the Detection and Management of COVID-19

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          Abstract

          Digital health is uniquely positioned to enhance the way we detect and manage infectious diseases. This commentary explores the potential of implementing digital technologies that can be used at different stages of the COVID-19 outbreak, including data-driven disease surveillance, screening, triage, diagnosis, and monitoring. Methods that could potentially reduce the exposure of healthcare providers to the virus are also discussed.

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          Most cited references 34

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          Potential Rapid Diagnostics, Vaccine and Therapeutics for 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV): A Systematic Review

          Rapid diagnostics, vaccines and therapeutics are important interventions for the management of the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak. It is timely to systematically review the potential of these interventions, including those for Middle East respiratory syndrome-Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)-CoV, to guide policymakers globally on their prioritization of resources for research and development. A systematic search was carried out in three major electronic databases (PubMed, Embase and Cochrane Library) to identify published studies in accordance with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. Supplementary strategies through Google Search and personal communications were used. A total of 27 studies fulfilled the criteria for review. Several laboratory protocols for confirmation of suspected 2019-nCoV cases using real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) have been published. A commercial RT-PCR kit developed by the Beijing Genomic Institute is currently widely used in China and likely in Asia. However, serological assays as well as point-of-care testing kits have not been developed but are likely in the near future. Several vaccine candidates are in the pipeline. The likely earliest Phase 1 vaccine trial is a synthetic DNA-based candidate. A number of novel compounds as well as therapeutics licensed for other conditions appear to have in vitro efficacy against the 2019-nCoV. Some are being tested in clinical trials against MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV, while others have been listed for clinical trials against 2019-nCoV. However, there are currently no effective specific antivirals or drug combinations supported by high-level evidence.
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            Impact of remote patient monitoring on clinical outcomes: an updated meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials

            Despite growing interest in remote patient monitoring, limited evidence exists to substantiate claims of its ability to improve outcomes. Our aim was to evaluate randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that assess the effects of using wearable biosensors (e.g. activity trackers) for remote patient monitoring on clinical outcomes. We expanded upon prior reviews by assessing effectiveness across indications and presenting quantitative summary data. We searched for articles from January 2000 to October 2016 in PubMed, reviewed 4,348 titles, selected 777 for abstract review, and 64 for full text review. A total of 27 RCTs from 13 different countries focused on a range of clinical outcomes and were retained for final analysis; of these, we identified 16 high-quality studies. We estimated a difference-in-differences random effects meta-analysis on select outcomes. We weighted the studies by sample size and used 95% confidence intervals (CI) around point estimates. Difference-in-difference point estimation revealed no statistically significant impact of remote patient monitoring on any of six reported clinical outcomes, including body mass index (−0.73; 95% CI: −1.84, 0.38), weight (−1.29; −3.06, 0.48), waist circumference (−2.41; −5.16, 0.34), body fat percentage (0.11; −1.56, 1.34), systolic blood pressure (−2.62; −5.31, 0.06), and diastolic blood pressure (−0.99; −2.73, 0.74). Studies were highly heterogeneous in their design, device type, and outcomes. Interventions based on health behavior models and personalized coaching were most successful. We found substantial gaps in the evidence base that should be considered before implementation of remote patient monitoring in the clinical setting.
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              Thermal Image Scanning for Influenza Border Screening: Results of an Airport Screening Study

              Background Infrared thermal image scanners (ITIS) appear an attractive option for the mass screening of travellers for influenza, but there are no published data on their performance in airports. Methods ITIS was used to measure cutaneous temperature in 1275 airline travellers who had agreed to tympanic temperature measurement and respiratory sampling. The prediction by ITIS of tympanic temperature (37.8°C and 37.5°C) and of influenza infection was assessed using Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) curves and estimated sensitivity, specificity and positive predictive value (PPV). Findings Using front of face ITIS for prediction of tympanic temperature ≥37.8°C, the area under the ROC curve was 0.86 (95%CI 0.75–0.97) and setting sensitivity at 86% gave specificity of 71%. The PPV in this population of travellers, of whom 0.5% were febrile using this definition, was 1.5%. We identified influenza virus infection in 30 travellers (3 Type A and 27 Type B). For ITIS prediction of influenza infection the area under the ROC curve was 0.66 (0.56–0.75), a sensitivity of 87% gave specificity of 39%, and PPV of 2.8%. None of the 30 influenza-positive travellers had tympanic temperature ≥37.8°C at screening (95%CI 0% to 12%); three had no influenza symptoms. Conclusion ITIS performed moderately well in detecting fever but in this study, during a seasonal epidemic of predominantly influenza type B, the proportion of influenza-infected travellers who were febrile was low and ITIS were not much better than chance at identifying travellers likely to be influenza-infected. Although febrile illness is more common in influenza A infections than influenza B infections, many influenza A infections are afebrile. Our findings therefore suggest that ITIS is unlikely to be effective for entry screening of travellers to detect influenza infection with the intention of preventing entry of the virus into a country.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Int J Environ Res Public Health
                Int J Environ Res Public Health
                ijerph
                International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
                MDPI
                1661-7827
                1660-4601
                23 April 2020
                April 2020
                : 17
                : 8
                Affiliations
                [1 ]School of Pharmacy, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Health Sciences Centre, 300 Prince Philip Drive, St John’s, NL A1B 3V6, Canada; mfa720@ 123456mun.ca
                [2 ]Chief Scientific Officer, BreatheSuite Inc., St John’s, NL A1B 2X2, Canada
                Article
                ijerph-17-02906
                10.3390/ijerph17082906
                7215737
                32340107
                © 2020 by the author.

                Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

                Categories
                Communication

                Public health

                covid-19, infectious disease, mhealth, digital health

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