New software helps identify patients who may require ventilator support
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A software can now identify whether a patient will require ventilator support in an ICU or referral, and help make necessary arrangements before emergency sets in.

At a time when sudden ICU and other emergency requirements during the pandemic have been a challenge for hospitals to manage, timely information about such situations would help manage the health crisis better.

The software called ‘Covid Severity Score’ (CSS) consists of an algorithm that measures a set of parameters. It scores each against a pre-set dynamic algorithm multiple times for each patient and allocates a CSS, mapping it in a graphical trend. The technology is being used in three community Covid care centres in Kolkata and its suburbs, including a 100-bed government-mandated Covid care centre at Barrackpore.

The Foundation for Innovations in Health, Kolkata, with support from the Science for Equity, Empowerment and Development (SEED) division of the Department of Science and Technology in collaboration with IIT Guwahati, Dr Kevin Dhaliwal, University of Edinburgh and Dr Sayantan Bandopadhyay, formerly WHO (SE Asia Regional Office), developed the algorithm that measures symptoms, signs, vital parameters, test reports and co-morbidities of a Covid-positive patient and scores each against a pre-set dynamic algorithm, thus allocating a CSS.

Frontline health workers trained in the national skills qualifications framework aligned model and certified by the National Skill Development Corporation are trained to record all these parameters in a tablet computer which has the software loaded in it.

The software can help in the early identification of patients likely to require ventilator support in an ICU and referral, and reduce hospital referral for those unlikely to require critical care support, thus releasing more hospital beds in circulation.

It will also help provide monitored medical support to those patients who cannot afford treatment or cannot isolate at home due to poor housing conditions. The facility can be a huge support for Covid care centres with beds and oxygen support only, but no facility for invasive ventilation.

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