New Initiatives Support Long Covid Sufferers
The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that one in 10 coronavirus patients in Europe are disclosing “long Covid” symptoms (WHO, 2021). While the ailment remains something of a medical enigma, new rehabilitation apps are stepping in to help people better manage their ailments.
- More to Learn: Despite the fact that little is known about long Covid, it’s currently defined as symptoms of Covid-19 infection that persist for more than 12 weeks. Sufferers have described months of fatigue, breathlessness, problems with concentration and “brain fog”, among other health problems (NHS, 2021).
- Road to Recovery: New China-based smartphone app R Plus Health provides a centralised platform for recently discharged Covid patients to track and monitor their recovery process. It guides users through at-home physical training routines, such as breathing exercises and cardiorespiratory fitness classes. Medical professionals track blood oxygen levels and heart rate during exercises, measured via a connected belt wearable.
- Using this data, the app then creates a bespoke rehabilitation programme for the individual’s needs – “like pairing a patient with a personal trainer or physiotherapist”, says Ren Songqing, chief operating officer of R Plus Health.
- Rehabilitation Strategies: In January 2021, NHS Wales launched a similar app, called Covid Recovery. Users record their symptoms and track their progress on the app to better manage their condition day-to-day. It comes with over 100 rehabilitation exercise videos and includes advice from therapists, psychologists, dietitians and consultants.