An automated patient self-monitoring system to reduce health care system burden during the COVID-19 pandemic in Malaysia: Development and implementation study

Lim, Hooi Min and Teo, Chin Hai and Ng, Chirk Jenn and Chiew, Thiam Kian and Ng, Wei Leik and Abdullah, Adina and Hadi, Haireen Abdul and Liew, Chee Sun and Chan, Chee Seng (2021) An automated patient self-monitoring system to reduce health care system burden during the COVID-19 pandemic in Malaysia: Development and implementation study. JMIR Medical Informatics, 9 (2). ISSN 2291-9694, DOI

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During the COVID-19 pandemic, there was an urgent need to develop an automated COVID-19 symptom monitoring system to reduce the burden on the health care system and to provide better self-monitoring at home. Objective: This paper aimed to describe the development process of the COVID-19 Symptom Monitoring System (CoSMoS), which consists of a self-monitoring, algorithm-based Telegram bot and a teleconsultation system. We describe all the essential steps from the clinical perspective and our technical approach in designing, developing, and integrating the system into clinical practice during the COVID-19 pandemic as well as lessons learned from this development process. Methods: CoSMoS was developed in three phases: (1) requirement formation to identify clinical problems and to draft the clinical algorithm, (2) development testing iteration using the agile software development method, and (3) integration into clinical practice to design an effective clinical workflow using repeated simulations and role-playing. Results: We completed the development of CoSMoS in 19 days. In Phase 1 (ie, requirement formation), we identified three main functions: a daily automated reminder system for patients to self-check their symptoms, a safe patient risk assessment to guide patients in clinical decision making, and an active telemonitoring system with real-time phone consultations. The system architecture of CoSMoS involved five components: Telegram instant messaging, a clinician dashboard, system administration (ie, back end), a database, and development and operations infrastructure. The integration of CoSMoS into clinical practice involved the consideration of COVID-19 infectivity and patient safety. Conclusions: This study demonstrated that developing a COVID-19 symptom monitoring system within a short time during a pandemic is feasible using the agile development method. Time factors and communication between the technical and clinical teams were the main challenges in the development process. The development process and lessons learned from this study can guide the future development of digital monitoring systems during the next pandemic, especially in developing countries.

Item Type: Article
Funders: University of Malaya COVID-19 Implementation Research Grant[RG562-2020HWB]
Uncontrolled Keywords: COVID-19;Coronavirus disease;Home monitoring;Symptom monitoring;System;Teleconsultation;Development;eHealth; Digital health;mHealth;Health services research; Telesurveillance;Infectious disease;App
Subjects: R Medicine
R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
R Medicine > R Medicine (General) > Medical technology
Divisions: Faculty of Medicine
Depositing User: Ms Zaharah Ramly
Date Deposited: 17 Jun 2022 02:48
Last Modified: 17 Jun 2022 02:48

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