VersusVirus – Project «CareFinder»: Real-time monitoring of available beds for intensive care
The VersusVirus Online Hackathon was held from 3 to 5 April. Over 4500 people connected and worked together for 48 hours to fight against the Corona Virus. Students from our Master’s programme in Applied Computational Life Sciences were part of it. They applied their acquired digital skills to create a real time monitoring for intensive care beds.
Relevance to the Swiss ecosystem
Approximately 281 hospitals offer healthcare in Switzerland (BAS, 2017). In 2017, there were 1436’030 patients who were admitted to a hospital. In many cases, coordination between the hospitals can be crucial to save patients lives. To facilitate the coordination between hospitals and to help decision makers allocate resources, the students developed a concept for national, real-time data-collection which can be easily implemented in every hospital.
Relevance of the solution in addressing the specific challenge
The students are providing a digital, real-time and automated application with easy access to data of ICU and isolation beds, ventilators, medical supply, patients and staff for nurses and doctors in hospitals who need to send patients to other hospitals without wasting time by first finding out where to send them to.
Potential for impact on the long term
The cooperation between hospitals can be enhanced through the availability of nationwide, real-time data (for example coordinating emergency beds for patients). On the other side, decision-makers including the government can use the centralized data in the future for healthcare development, crisis management and further enhancements. Based on the different input channels our plan is to automatically update the database.
Progress achieved in the last 48 hours
During #VersusVirus the team was able to connect with several politicians, health authorities and doctors and with end-users (nurses and doctors). They were able to address the potential users’ needs by developing a system which is independent of the hospital IT-infrastructure. To facilitate data collection, scanning beds, materials, and patient IDs was introduced to help increase the efficiency of data entry and to ensure real-time data access.
Project Added Value
They provide an overview for fast and informed decision-making. Hospitals can get for the first time easy and real-time access to data outside the cantonal borders. Fast information exchange is crucial in case of rapid high occupation of ICU beds (like in case of an epidemy). The data is graphically visualised to get a fast national overview of the hospital capacities. In a later step they will implement filter options to be able to display only specific variables (display only number of ventilators or combined with number of infusomats). They guarantee real-time data by offering multiple data collection interfaces (scanners, mobile apps, API). The solution is conceptualized to be easily accessible from various devices (for example for first aid medics). In a further step they will integrate a learning system to provide a case development forecast with the results directly displayed in the application.
If the respective authorities (cantonal health departments, Koordinierter Sanitätsdienst and hospitals) provide the students access to the data stated in the github repo, they can provide a real-time hospital capacity monitoring system.
They got international support from the app-developer of a similar challenge from the #WirVsVirus Hackathon Munich and from various mentors who tried hard to give access to the necessary data.
More Information about the MSc in Applied Computational Life Sciences.