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J Med Internet Res ; 23(6): e27348, 2021 06 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1259301


BACKGROUND: Overcoming the COVID-19 crisis requires new ideas and strategies for online communication of personal medical information and patient empowerment. Rapid testing of a large number of subjects is essential for monitoring and delaying the spread of SARS-CoV-2 in order to mitigate the pandemic's consequences. People who do not know that they are infected may not stay in quarantine and, thus, risk infecting others. Unfortunately, the massive number of COVID-19 tests performed is challenging for both laboratories and the units that conduct throat swabs and communicate the results. OBJECTIVE: The goal of this study was to reduce the communication burden for health care professionals. We developed a secure and easy-to-use tracking system to report COVID-19 test results online that is simple to understand for the tested subjects as soon as these results become available. Instead of personal calls, the system updates the status and the results of the tests automatically. This aims to reduce the delay when informing testees about their results and, consequently, to slow down the virus spread. METHODS: The application in this study draws on an existing tracking tool. With this open-source and browser-based online tracking system, we aim to minimize the time required to inform the tested person and the testing units (eg, hospitals or the public health care system). The system can be integrated into the clinical workflow with very modest effort and avoids excessive load to telephone hotlines. RESULTS: The test statuses and results are published on a secured webpage, enabling regular status checks by patients; status checks are performed without the use of smartphones, which has some importance, as smartphone usage diminishes with age. Stress tests and statistics show the performance of our software. CTest is currently running at two university hospitals in Germany-University Hospital Ulm and University Hospital Tübingen-with thousands of tests being performed each week. Results show a mean number of 10 (SD 2.8) views per testee. CONCLUSIONS: CTest runs independently of existing infrastructures, aims at straightforward integration, and aims for the safe transmission of information. The system is easy to use for testees. QR (Quick Response) code links allow for quick access to the test results. The mean number of views per entry indicates a reduced amount of time for both health care professionals and testees. The system is quite generic and can be extended and adapted to other communication tasks.

COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/psychology , Communication , Medical Informatics/organization & administration , Medical Informatics/standards , Pandemics , Patient Participation , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Germany , Humans , Time Factors
J Med Internet Res ; 23(4): e24586, 2021 04 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1194541


In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the information stream has overflowed with accurate information, misinformation, and constantly changing guidelines. There is a great need for guidance on the identification of trustworthy health information, and official channels are struggling to keep pace with this infodemic. Consequently, a Facebook group was created where volunteer medical physicians would answer laypeople's questions about the 2019 novel coronavirus. There is not much precedence in health care professional-driven Facebook groups, and the framework was thus developed continuously. We ended up with an approach without room for debate, which fostered a sense of calmness, trust, and safety among the questioners. Substantial moderator effort was needed to ensure high quality and consistency through collaboration among the presently >200 physicians participating in this group. At the time of writing, the group provides a much-needed service to >58,000 people in Denmark during this crisis.

COVID-19/epidemiology , Consumer Health Information/standards , Physicians , Social Media , Health Information Exchange , Humans , Medical Informatics/standards , Pandemics
Clin Rheumatol ; 39(7): 2049-2054, 2020 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-343562


INTRODUCTION/OBJECTIVES: The current 2019 novel coronavirus outbreak is continuing to spread rapidly despite all efforts. Patients with rheumatic disease may have higher levels of anxiety due to their disease characteristics and medications. The web-based platforms are widely used sources for gaining medical information. YouTube presents a wide range of medical information, but there are concerns on its quality. Therefore, we aimed to evaluate the quality of the YouTube videos about COVID-19 and rheumatic diseases link. METHOD: This is a descriptive study. A total of 360 videos listed by the YouTube search engine ( in response to six search terms were evaluated. The Global Quality Scale (GQS) was performed to evaluate video quality. Three groups were formed according to GQS scores: high quality, moderate quality, and low quality. Video parameters were compared between these groups. RESULTS: After the exclusion criteria, 46 videos were reviewed. Of the videos, 41.4% (n = 19) were of high-quality group, 21.7% (n = 10) were moderate-quality group, and 36.9% (n = 17) were of low-quality group. Significant difference was detected between the quality groups in terms of views per day (p = 0.004). No significant difference was detected in comments per day (p = 0.139) and like ratio (p = 0.232). CONCLUSIONS: Besides high-quality videos, there were substantially low-quality videos that could cause misleading information to spread rapidly during the pandemic. Videos from trustworthy sources such as universities, academics, and physicians should be kept in the foreground.Key Points•Web-based platforms have become an important source of health-related information. One of the most important online sources is YouTube because it is easy accessible and free.•Of the videos evaluating the link between COVID-19 and rheumatic diseases, 41.4% (n = 19) were of high quality.•The main sources of high-quality videos were academics/universities and physicians.•The most frequently discussed topics in videos were the place of hydroxychloroquine in the treatment of COVID-19 and whether to continue the use of existing rheumatological drugs.

Communication , Coronavirus Infections , Medical Informatics , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , Rheumatic Diseases/epidemiology , Social Media/standards , Video Recording/standards , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , COVID-19 , Comorbidity , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/psychology , Data Accuracy , Humans , Information Dissemination/methods , Information Seeking Behavior , Medical Informatics/methods , Medical Informatics/standards , Medical Informatics/trends , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/psychology , Rheumatic Diseases/psychology , SARS-CoV-2