Penn Medicine’s COVID Watch system lets the health care team check up on a patient with just a couple of text messages each day.
Two texts are sent out daily with a couple of questions designed to assess the patient’s medical condition.
“How bad the breathing is; is it hard for them to even walk to the bathroom because of the breathing? Are they making additional noises, like wheezing, when they’re breathing? They are also asked if they’re having difficulty eating enough, drinking enough, and their level of weakness,” said Dr. Anna Morgan, the program’s medical director.
If an answer indicates worsening conditions, the message is flagged and a nurse will call the patient to do a more in-depth assessment, then determine if he or she needs to see a doctor or head to the emergency room.
Patients who were hospitalized and are now recovering at home are also eligible to join the system.