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COVID Blog #10: How Can Technology Help BC Health Workers on The Frontlines?

As life almost returns to normal for us living in British Columbia, we must not forget our health-care workers. The spread of COVID-19 has appeared to slow down, largely because health workers are still very much at the frontline of this battle.

Being at the frontline of health-care has always been a gruelling duty, and their existing stress is undoubtedly exacerbated during the pandemic. From saving the lives of those around them to keeping their own lives and mental health in check, health-care workers have a lot on their plate. These times are fearful for all of us, but those on the frontlines have to confront this fear, and virus, every day at work.

It is important that we appreciate and support health-care workers in their navigation through these inordinate times. Fortunately, technological tools can really help address the everyday dilemmas faced by frontline workers. Some innovative companies are using mobile apps to help alleviate the burdens faced by BC health-workers.

Appnovation is an app designed to help BC health workers contain the spread of COVID-19. Since health-care workers often work at multiple homes or hospitals, they themselves are at risk for spreading the virus. Appnovation tracks real-time information on where each health-care worker is located. The app then sends this information back to regional health authorities, assisting them in making important decisions. This provides transparency as well as contact-tracing information, which is crucial to stopping the spread of COVID-19.

“Through Appnovation’s consultation, data analytics and real-time insights, we’ve already been able to identify hot spots within the provincial healthcare facilities where there’s a lot of staff working at multiple sites,“ said Scott Wassmer, General Manager of Americas at Appnovation.

This app has proven invaluable to British Columbia, and will hopefully be implemented in other provinces around the country.

Health workers on the frontline have busy schedules, managing both hospital and home life. An app called Blue helps health-care workers leverage their network to aid them in their daily chores. Users register neighbours, friends or family to a support team who can view any tasks they may need help with. These tasks range from meal preparation to shopping for groceries or picking up a relative.  Requests can be placed when health-care workers are unable to make a commitment.

Psychologically, providing essential emergency care can be draining. The Canadian Psychology Association is providing pro-bono over the phone counselling and support for frontline workers.

Additionally, The Canadian Medical Association has services catered towards medical professionals. They have a wellness line where medical professionals can receive tailored mental health services.

While health is at the front of our minds, it is important to recognize and respond to the varied needs of the frontline workforce.

Please let us know if there are any other apps or tech specifically for BC frontline workers that we didn’t mention in the comments below.

Jun 28, 2020
Category: Thematic Issues
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