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1.
Br J Cancer ; 2022 Jul 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1937426

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: During the COVID pandemic, there was a paucity of data to support clinical decision-making for anticancer treatments. We evaluated the safety of radical treatments which were delivered whilst mitigating the risks of concurrent COVID-19 infection. METHODS: Using descriptive statistics, we report on the characteristics and short-term clinical outcomes of patients undergoing radical cancer treatment during the first COVID-19 wave compared to a similar pre-pandemic period. RESULTS: Compared to 2019, the number of patients undergoing radical treatment in 2020 reduced by: 28% for surgery; 18% for SACT; and 10% for RT. Within SACT, 36% received combination therapy, 35% systemic chemotherapy, 23% targeted treatments, 5% immunotherapy and 2% biological therapy. A similar proportion of RT was delivered in 2019 and 2020 (53% vs. 52%). Oncological outcomes were also similar to pre-COVID-19. The COVID-19 infection rates were low: 12 patients were positive pre surgery (1%), 7 post surgery (<1%), 17 SACT patients (2%) and 3 RT patients (<1%). No COVID-19-related deaths were reported. CONCLUSIONS: Whilst there were fewer patients receiving radical anticancer treatments, those who did receive treatment were treated in a safe environment. Overall, cancer patients should have the confidence to attend hospitals and be reassured of the safety measures implemented.

2.
Arch Dis Child ; 2022 May 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1846359

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: There are concerns that the COVID-19 pandemic is having an indirect negative impact on young people. We aimed to assess the impact of the pandemic on emergency department (ED) presentations and admissions. DESIGN: We analysed ED presentations and admissions from a 5-year period (April 2016-February 2021). An interrupted time series analysis was used to estimate the presentations and admissions that would have been seen in year 5 without the pandemic using the data from years 1 to 4. These estimations were used to calculate the difference between the expected and the observed presentations and admissions during the pandemic year. RESULTS: There were 166 459 presentations over 5 years. There was a 38.1% (95% CI 33.9% to 42.3%) reduction in presentations during the pandemic with no variation by sex, age, deprivation or ethnicity. Largest reductions were associated with children being home schooled rather than with lockdowns. For admissions, there was a 23.4% (17.4% to 29.4%) reduction, less for 5-17 year age group. Infection and asthma/wheeze presentations reduced by around 60% with smaller reductions for mental health and trauma. There was no change for surgical presentations, burns/scolds or allergic reactions. There was an increase in females aged 11-17 years presenting with mental health issues during the pandemic. CONCLUSIONS: During the pandemic, there was a substantial reduction in both ED presentations and admissions. The differential impact on specific presentations suggests this was due to the impact of social distancing and reduced social mixing rather than widening of health inequality or increased barriers to care. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: NCT04893122.

3.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-314706

ABSTRACT

Touchless computer interaction has become an important consideration during the COVID-19 pandemic period. Despite progress in machine learning and computer vision that allows for advanced gesture recognition, an integrated collection of such open-source methods and a user-customisable approach to utilising them in a low-cost solution for touchless interaction in existing software is still missing. In this paper, we introduce the MotionInput v2.0 application. This application utilises published open-source libraries and additional gesture definitions developed to take the video stream from a standard RGB webcam as input. It then maps human motion gestures to input operations for existing applications and games. The user can choose their own preferred way of interacting from a series of motion types, including single and bi-modal hand gesturing, full-body repetitive or extremities-based exercises, head and facial movements, eye tracking, and combinations of the above. We also introduce a series of bespoke gesture recognition classifications as DirectInput triggers, including gestures for idle states, auto calibration, depth capture from a 2D RGB webcam stream and tracking of facial motions such as mouth motions, winking, and head direction with rotation. Three use case areas assisted the development of the modules: creativity software, office and clinical software, and gaming software. A collection of open-source libraries has been integrated and provide a layer of modular gesture mapping on top of existing mouse and keyboard controls in Windows via DirectX. With ease of access to webcams integrated into most laptops and desktop computers, touchless computing becomes more available with MotionInput v2.0, in a federated and locally processed method.

4.
BJUI Compass ; 3(4): 277-286, 2022 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1664396

ABSTRACT

Objective: To report on the outcomes of urological cancer patients undergoing radical surgery between March-September 2020 (compared with 2019) in the European Institute of Oncology (IEO) in Milan and the South East London Cancer Alliance (SELCA). Materials and Methods: Since March 2020, both institutions implemented a COVID-19 minimal 'green' pathway, whereby patients were required to isolate for 14 days prior to admission and report a negative COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test within 3 days of surgery. COVID-19 positive patients had surgery deferred until a negative swab. Surgical outcomes assessed were: American Society of Anaesthesiologists (ASA) grade; surgery time; theatre time; intensive care unit (ICU) stay >24 h; pneumonia; length of stay (LOS); re-admission. Postoperative COVID-19 infection rates and associated mortality were also recorded. Results: At IEO, uro-oncological surgery increased by 4%, as compared with the same period in 2019 (n = 515 vs. 534). The main increase was observed for renal (16%, n = 98 vs. 114), bladder (24%, n = 45 vs. 56) and testicular (27%, n = 26 vs. 33). Patient demographics were all comparable between 2019 and 2020. Only one bladder cancer patient developed COVID-19, reporting mild/moderate disease. There was no COVID-19 associated mortality. In the SELCA cohort, uro-oncological surgery declined by 23% (n = 403 vs. 312) compared with the previous year. The biggest decrease was seen for prostate (-42%, n = 156 vs. 91), penile (-100%, n = 4 vs. 0) and testicular cancers (-46%, n = 35 vs. 24). Various patient demographic characteristics were notably different when comparing 2020 versus 2019. This likely reflects the clinical decision of deferring COVID-19 vulnerable patients. One patient developed COVID-19, with no COVID-19 related mortality. Conclusion: The COVID-19 minimal 'green' pathways that were put in place have shown to be safe for uro-oncological patients requiring radical surgery. There were limited complications, almost no peri-operative COVID-19 infection and no COVID-19-related mortality in either cohort.

5.
Future Oncol ; 18(10): 1211-1218, 2022 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1626702

ABSTRACT

Objective: The authors monitored positivity rates of asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 tests during the second wave of COVID-19 at Guy's Cancer Centre. Methods: Logistic regression was used to investigate factors associated with asymptomatic COVID-19 positivity rates between 1 December 2020 and 28 February 2021 (n = 1346). Results: Living 20-40 km and 40-60 km from the alpha variant was associated with a reduced chance of a positive SARS-CoV-2 test compared with 0-20 km (odds ratio [OR]: 0.20; CI: 0.07-0.53 and OR: 0.38; CI: 0.15-0.98, respectively). An increased number of tests was associated with an increased chance of a positive SARS-CoV-2 test (OR: 1.10; CI: 1.04-1.16). Conclusion: The COVID-19 positivity rate of asymptomatic cancer patients is partly due to increased testing, with some contribution from the proximity of the patient population to the epicenter of the alpha variant.


The UK's second wave of COVID-19 was partly driven by the emergence of the alpha variant in the southeast of England in November 2020, spreading farther to become the predominant variant across England in December 2020. The alpha variant is associated with a greater transmissibility rate, posing an increased risk to the vulnerable population. This raised concerns about the welfare of cancer patients, as the disease and its treatment can lower one's ability to fight infection. This resulted in some cancer treatments being interrupted or stopped on the grounds of clinical safety and some follow-up care being disrupted. In order to investigate the factors associated with asymptomatic COVID-19 positivity rates between 1 December 2020 and 28 February 2021, the authors gathered information on the number of tests taken per cancer patient at Guy's and extracted data from Guy's approved research database, which houses all routinely collected clinical data on cancer patients. This included demographic data, such as post code and age, as well as number of visits to the hospital. From their analysis, the authors concluded that living closer to the epicenter of the alpha variant was associated with a high positivity rate; also, the more tests taken, the more likely the patients are to test positive. Therefore, the authors can conclude that attending the hospital does not increase the risk of transmission.


Subject(s)
Asymptomatic Infections/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Neoplasms/complications , SARS-CoV-2 , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Female , Hospitals , Humans , Logistic Models , Male , Middle Aged
6.
Archives of Disease in Childhood ; 106(Suppl 3):A8, 2021.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-1574910

ABSTRACT

IntroductionPopulation health and wellbeing is a priority in the UK, with new initiatives that empower children to live healthier lives. Excess weight has also been associated to worse outcomes during the COVID-19 pandemic period, complicated by reduced activity within the confinements of a home environment and coupled by increased screen time with remote classroom practices. As a result, children and young people now interact with computer interfaces in their home environment for education, gaming and healthcare purposes for prolonged periods and in new ways.MethodThere is a growing interest in Natural User Interfaces (NUIs) that use natural hand and body gestures to interact with computers. Advances to these technologies mean that they are now more accurate, easier to use and instead of requiring expensive depth cameras, can be operated using simple webcams. In this study, OpenCV library is used to track user movement by calculating the pixel difference between two frames and create a catalogue of exercises. We use PyTorch exercise recognition model to check the status of the user every 8 frames. These are recognised by using Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs) with static training from datasets and offer users the option to create personalised exercises.ResultWe present University College London’s (UCL) Motion- Input supporting DirectX: Gestures for at-home exercises. This exercise module can recognise six repetitious static exercises, such as running on the spot, squatting, cycling on an exercise bike, and rowing on a rowing machine using a webcam. This is intended for integrated exercise triggers during gaming in place of a handheld control panel (i.e., jumping to trigger commands), remote coaching for fitness and bespoke treatment plans for physical rehabilitation.ConclusionWebcam-based computer vision exercise catalogues using everyday devices like webcams, hold the potential to encourage healthier and more active behaviours during screen-based activities.

9.
Allergy ; 77(2): 454-468, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1327506

ABSTRACT

One hundred and ten years after Noon's first clinical report of the subcutaneous application of allergen extracts, allergen immunotherapy (AIT) has evolved as the most important pillar of the treatment of allergic patients. It is the only disease-modifying treatment option available and the evidence for its clinical efficacy and safety is broad and undisputed. Throughout recent decades, more insights into the underlying mechanisms, in particular the modulation of innate and adaptive immune responses, have been described. AIT is acknowledged by worldwide regulatory authorities, and following the regulatory guidelines for product development, AIT products are subject to a rigorous evaluation before obtaining market authorization. Knowledge and practice are anchored in international guidelines, such as the recently published series of the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (EAACI). Innovative approaches continue to be further developed with the focus on clinical improvement by, for example, the usage of adjuvants, peptides, recombinants, modification of allergens, new routes of administration, and the concomitant use of biologicals. In addition, real-life data provide complementary and valuable information on the effectiveness and tolerability of this treatment option in the clinical routine. New mobile health technologies and big-data approaches will improve daily treatment convenience, adherence, and efficacy of AIT. However, the current coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has also had some implications for the feasibility and practicability of AIT. Taken together, AIT as the only disease-modifying therapy in allergic diseases has been broadly investigated over the past 110 years laying the path for innovations and further improvement.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Hypersensitivity , Allergens , Desensitization, Immunologic , Humans , Hypersensitivity/therapy , SARS-CoV-2
10.
Cancers (Basel) ; 13(7)2021 03 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1167423

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) pandemic is having a large effect on the management of cancer patients. This study reports on the approach and outcomes of cancer patients receiving radical surgery with curative intent between March and September 2020 (in comparison to 2019) in the European Institute of Oncology, IRCCS (IEO) in Milan and the South East London Cancer Alliance (SELCA). Both institutions implemented a COVID-19 minimal pathway where patients were required to self-isolate prior to admission and were swabbed for COVID-19 within 72 h of surgery. Positive patients had surgery deferred until a negative swab. At IEO, radical surgeries declined by 6% as compared to the same period in 2019 (n = 1477 vs. 1560, respectively). Readmissions were required for 3% (n = 41), and <1% (n = 9) developed COVID-19, of which only one had severe disease and died. At SELCA, radical surgeries declined by 34% (n = 1553 vs. 2336). Readmissions were required for 11% (n = 36), <1% (n = 7) developed COVID-19, and none died from it. Whilst a decline in number of surgeries was observed in both centres, the implemented COVID-19 minimal pathways have shown to be safe for cancer patients requiring radical treatment, with limited complications and almost no COVID-19 infections.

11.
Ecancermedicalscience ; 15: 1180, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1110261

ABSTRACT

One of the most ignored aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic has been the impact of public health measures by governments on wider health and welfare. From March 2020, hospitals in the UK saw a dramatic reduction in patients with cancer presenting due to multifactorial reasons. The impact of the pandemic on patients with cancer in the South East London Cancer Alliance was studied. The specific aims were (1) to examine the reduction in cancer diagnoses during the first wave of the pandemic and (2) to examine the stage of diagnosis of patients with cancer presenting during the pandemic compared with that of patients presenting before the pandemic. There was an 18.2% reduction in new cancer diagnoses (an estimate of 987 cancers), when compared with 2019. This fall in cancer diagnoses was most marked in patients with prostate (51.4%), gynaecological (29.7%), breast (29.5%) and lung (23.4%) cancers. There was an overall 3.9% increase in advanced stage presentation (Stages 3 and 4), with an overall 6.8% increase in Stage 4 cancers during this period. The greatest shifts were seen in lung (increase of 6.3%, with an 11.2% increase in Stage 4 cancer alone) and colorectal (5.4%) cancers. For prostate cancer, there was an increase in 3.8% in those presenting with Stage 4 disease. For breast cancer, there was an 8% reduction in patients diagnosed with Stage 1 cancer with commensurate increases in the proportion of those with Stage 2 disease. The experiences in cancer are a salient warning that pandemic control measures and policy need to balance all health and welfare. Alternative strategies need to be adopted during further waves of the current and any future pandemic to ensure that patients with cancer are prioritised for diagnosis and treatment to prevent late-stage presentation and an increase in avoidable deaths.

12.
J Allergy Clin Immunol Pract ; 8(8): 2592-2599.e3, 2020 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-599331

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: It is unclear whether asthma may affect susceptibility or severity of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in children and how pediatric asthma services worldwide have responded to the pandemic. OBJECTIVE: To describe the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on pediatric asthma services and on disease burden in their patients. METHODS: An online survey was sent to members of the Pediatric Asthma in Real Life think tank and the World Allergy Organization Pediatric Asthma Committee. It included questions on service provision, disease burden, and the clinical course of confirmed cases of COVID-19 infection among children with asthma. RESULTS: Ninety-one respondents, caring for an estimated population of more than 133,000 children with asthma, completed the survey. COVID-19 significantly impacted pediatric asthma services: 39% ceased physical appointments, 47% stopped accepting new patients, and 75% limited patients' visits. Consultations were almost halved to a median of 20 (interquartile range, 10-25) patients per week. Virtual clinics and helplines were launched in most centers. Better than expected disease control was reported in 20% (10%-40%) of patients, whereas control was negatively affected in only 10% (7.5%-12.5%). Adherence also appeared to increase. Only 15 confirmed cases of COVID-19 were reported among the population; the estimated incidence is not apparently different from the reports of general pediatric cohorts. CONCLUSIONS: Children with asthma do not appear to be disproportionately affected by COVID-19. Outcomes may even have improved, possibly through increased adherence and/or reduced exposures. Clinical services have rapidly responded to the pandemic by limiting and replacing physical appointments with virtual encounters.


Subject(s)
Asthma/epidemiology , Asthma/physiopathology , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Appointments and Schedules , Asthma/therapy , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Child , Global Health , Humans , Medication Adherence , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index , Telemedicine/organization & administration , Telemedicine/statistics & numerical data , Time Factors
13.
World Allergy Organ J ; 13(5): 100124, 2020 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-276680

ABSTRACT

Spring and Summer 2020 are unique in that the challenges of care for those suffering from pollen allergy coincide with the COVID-19 pandemic. Several considerations are important to allow optimal care of allergic rhinitis (AR) and asthma and hence prevention of coronavirus spread through sneezing, rhinorrhoea, and coughing. This compact overview of recommendations by the EUFOREA expert teams on allergic airway diseases and allergen-specific immunotherapy (AIT) is based on investigation of the current COVID-19 literature in association with the key words above and shared clinical experience of the experts involved. It deals with similarities and differences between AR and coronavirus infection, specific recommendations for allergic disease care in the COVID-19 era, including guidance on AIT.

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