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Recenti Prog Med ; 112(5): 387-391, 2021 05.
Article in Italian | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1232492


INTRODUCTION: The unprecedented covid-19 pandemic has shown the weaknesses of health systems and opened new spaces for e-health and telemedicine. Recent literature states that chatbots, if implemented effectively, could be useful tools for quickly sharing information, promoting healthy behaviors, and helping reduce the psychological burden of isolation. The aim of this project is to develop and test a secure and reliable computerized decision support system (CDSS) in web-app and evaluate its use, usability and its outputs in a pre-specified way. METHODS: A multidisciplinary team was recruited to plan and design, based on the SMASS medical CDSS, the scenarios of the COVID-Guide web-app, a self-triage system for patients with suspected covid-19. The output data for the period May-September 2020 from Germany were analyzed. RESULTS: During the period under review, the total number of consultations in Germany was 96,012. 3,415 (3.56%) consultations indicated the need for immediate evaluation, by activating the emergency service (calling an ambulance) - 1,942, equal to 2.02% - or by advising the patient to go to hospital - 1,743, equal to 1.54%. CONCLUSIONS: Data seems to show good usability and a consistent number of consultations carried out. Regular use of COVID-Guide could help collect epidemiological data on the spread of (suspected) covid-19 cases, easily and quickly available in all countries where the tool will be used. Using the SSDC could help reduce the load on operators. Furthermore, the use of anonymous and geolocatable clinical data together with the generation of alerts and indicators produced by COVID-Guide could become a useful tool for epidemiological surveillance in the future phases of the pandemic (Telemedical Syndromic Surveillance).

COVID-19/therapy , Decision Support Systems, Clinical , Mobile Applications , Triage/methods , Ambulances/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/epidemiology , Germany/epidemiology , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Pandemics
Int J Infect Dis ; 103: 599-606, 2021 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-970735


BACKGROUND & AIMS: Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) and chloroquine (CQ) are anti-malarial drugs frequently used in the rheumatologic field. They were recently identified as potential therapeutic options for Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19). The present study aims to map and grade the diverse health outcomes associated with HCQ/CQ using an umbrella review approach. METHODS: Umbrella review of systematic reviews of observational and intervention studies. For observational studies, random-effects summary effect size, 95% confidence interval, and 95% prediction interval were estimated. We also assessed heterogeneity, evidence for small-study effect, and evidence for excess significance bias. The quality of evidence was then graded using validated criteria from highly convincing to weak. The evidence from randomized controlled trials (RCTs) was graded using the Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) tool. RESULTS: From 313 articles returned in the literature search, six meta-analyses were included (n = 25 outcomes). Among meta-analyses (MAs) of observational studies, HCQ/CQ are weakly associated with a reduced risk for cardiovascular events and diabetes when used for autoimmune diseases and with spontaneous abortion; they are also associated with a higher risk of death in COVID-19 patients. Among MAs of RCTs, HCQ/CQ are associated with an improvement of articular manifestations of rheumatic diseases. CONCLUSIONS: There is high evidence of the efficacy of HCQ/CQ in the rheumatologic field. The lack of evidence for efficacy and the risk of death associated with the use of HCQ/CQ for COVID-19 indicate the inappropriateness of their inclusion in recent COVID-19 therapy guidelines and the urgent need for RCTs to determine eventual appropriateness as a COVID-19 therapy.

COVID-19 Drug Treatment , Chloroquine/therapeutic use , Hydroxychloroquine/therapeutic use , SARS-CoV-2 , Chloroquine/adverse effects , Humans , Hydroxychloroquine/adverse effects
Front Med (Lausanne) ; 7: 170, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-234146


The aim was to investigate the effectiveness of glucocorticoid therapy in patients with COVID-19. A systematic search of the literature across nine databases was conducted from inception until 15th March 2020, following the PRISMA guidelines. Patients with a validated diagnosis of COVID-19 and using corticosteroids were included, considering all health outcomes. Four studies with 542 Chinese participants were included. Two studies reported negative findings regarding the use of corticosteroids in patients with COVID-19, i.e., corticosteroids had a detrimental impact on clinical outcomes. One study reported no significant association between the use of corticosteroids and clinical outcomes. However, one study, on 201 participants with different stages of pneumonia due to COVID-19, found that in more severe forms, the administration of methylprednisolone significantly reduced the risk of death by 62%. The literature to date does not fully support the routine use of corticosteroids in COVID-19, but some findings suggest that methylprednisolone could lower mortality rate in more severe forms of the condition.