Wednesday, 16 December 2020 00:01

COVID care app developed by IBM in ANZ


An app developed by IBM and the COVID-19 Critical Care Consortium (COVID Critical) is designed to help intensive care clinicians access the most up-to-date medical information, customised to the profiles of their own patients.

COVID Critical is led by a team based at Brisbane's Prince Charles Hospital.

The app, which runs in the IBM Cloud, will be available to more than 500 clinicians at more than 370 hospitals around the world.

It was developed by IBM in collaboration with medical researchers and data scientists at The University of Queensland with support from Queensland University of Technology, with input from clinicians within COVID Critical's 54 member countries.

"Following an initial pilot in Australia and the United States, the application is expected to be made available to COVID Critical clinicians based at member sites across six continents – we anticipate that the global interest could result in up to 6000 clinicians signing up to use it in the coming months," said IBM Australia managing director Katrina Troughton.

"The web-based app was built by seven IBM designers and developers in Australia and New Zealand over the course of seven weeks runs on IBM Cloud. We deliberately developed the app using a web-based browser to ensure it can be used on mobile devices and tablets – making it more accessible to clinicians around the world and on the go.

"By running it on IBM Cloud, private clinical data can be protected by its industry-leading security capabilities."

COVID Critical founder Professor John Fraser said "At the start of 2020, when COVID-19 was not yet well-known globally, we knew we urgently needed to share and accumulate information because clinicians on the frontline had nothing: no training or textbooks about how to fight this virus in critical care.

"Our Consortium members told IBM that they needed a tool to allow them to consider key clinical features, including a range of pulmonary, cardiological, neurological and renal measures, as well as the use of mechanical ventilation and ECMO (artificial heart/lung machine), duration of stay in ICU, and survival rates.

"This new web-based app will potentially provide them with the evidence and information they need to save lives. We are particularly excited for the difference this will make to our colleagues fighting this pandemic in low and middle-income countries, with limited resources and support. It could be a game-changer and a life-saver."

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Stephen Withers

Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.

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