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Lancet Global Health ; 10(11):E1612-E1622, 2022.
Article in English | Web of Science | ID: covidwho-2307206


Background The transmission dynamics of influenza were affected by public health and social measures (PHSMs) implemented globally since early 2020 to mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic. We aimed to assess the effect of COVID-19 PHSMs on the transmissibility of influenza viruses and to predict upcoming influenza epidemics. Methods For this modelling study, we used surveillance data on influenza virus activity for 11 different locations and countries in 2017-22. We implemented a data-driven mechanistic predictive modelling framework to predict future influenza seasons on the basis of pre-COVID-19 dynamics and the effect of PHSMs during the COVID-19 pandemic. We simulated the potential excess burden of upcoming influenza epidemics in terms of fold rise in peak magnitude and epidemic size compared with pre-COVID-19 levels. We also examined how a proactive influenza vaccination programme could mitigate this effect. Findings We estimated that COVID-19 PHSMs reduced influenza transmissibility by a maximum of 17.3% (95% CI 13.3-21.4) to 40.6% (35.2-45.9) and attack rate by 5.1% (1.5-7.2) to 24.8% (20.8-27.5) in the 2019-20 influenza season. We estimated a 10-60% increase in the population susceptibility for influenza, which might lead to a maximum of 1-5-fold rise in peak magnitude and 1-4-fold rise in epidemic size for the upcoming 2022-23 influenza season across locations, with a significantly higher fold rise in Singapore and Taiwan. The infection burden could be mitigated by additional proactive one-off influenza vaccination programmes. Interpretation Our results suggest the potential for substantial increases in infection burden in upcoming influenza seasons across the globe. Strengthening influenza vaccination programmes is the best preventive measure to reduce the effect of influenza virus infections in the community. Copyright (C) 2022 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd.

Australian Journal of Primary Health ; 28(4):xxviii, 2022.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-2058085


Background: Since May 2020, the Australian Government has implemented e-prescription to provide convenience and choice to patients, improve efficiency of prescribing and dispensing medications, reduce errors, and minimise use of paper prescriptions. e-Prescriptions are digital prescriptions with a unique QR code which pharmacists could scan for the relevant information to provide patients with the prescribed medications. In the current COVID-19 pandemic environment, this initiative also provides an opportunity to protect community members and healthcare providers from exposure to infectious diseases by contributing to the telehealth services. However, there are mixed opinions amongst GPs and pharmacists about the switch to digital services. Anecdotally, there are also differences in the challenges in e-prescription faced by rural and metropolitan healthcare providers. Aims/Objective: Our study aims to explore the potential benefits, barriers and enablers of e-prescription to GPs and pharmacists in metropolitan Sydney by identifying challenges to and perceptions of its implementation. Findings will be compared with those of a similar study conducted in rural NSW. Method(s): This MBBS student research project is a qualitative study using semi-structured interviews with 10 GPs and 10 pharmacists, recruited via professional networks and social media, to explore their experiences and views about e-prescription. Their responses will be audio-recorded, transcribed and thematically analysed. More interviews will be conducted to reach data saturation if necessary. Findings will be compared with those of the study conducted by the Bathurst Rural Clinical School in 2021. Finding(s): Ethics approval for this project is pending. Data collection is planned to start in May for 2 months. Preliminary results will be presented at this conference. Implications: Findings may facilitate the implementation of e-prescription either through raised awareness of new technology or identification of areas for improvement. Further research to address any barriers that prevent providers from using e-prescription can improve patient care.

34th British Human Computer Interaction Conference Interaction Conference, BCS HCI 2021 ; : 329-342, 2021.
Article in English | Scopus | ID: covidwho-1687538


With the flourish of collaborative and social technologies in the market since the pandemic, there is limited understanding of user's attitudes towards these technologies. We aim to understand teleworkers' perceptions of technology use during the pandemic and interviewed 46 teleworkers. We found that teleworkers generally hold a positive attitude towards social technologies and are creative to use these technologies to meet their social needs;they express overall negative feelings about remote collaboration technologies, though online communication flattens the communication hierarchy in the organization. The pandemic amplifies the extant challenges and highlights the shortcomings of technological design in well-established teleworking research and remote collaboration work. We suggest that future design should 1) combine and commercialize solutions that are well-grounded in prior work;2) consider scenarios that are typically missed and can be easily replaced with collocated interaction from the pre-pandemic context into the forced teleworking context. © Cai et al. Published by BCS Learning and Development Ltd.