Patient-Centric: Case Study

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The Brief

How to build an app that solves global issues?

Right in the middle of the COVID-19 epidemic, I joined the digital health agency Curve Tomorrow to tell the story of a project that was equally exciting and impactful. Australian scientists from the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute in Melbourne had just discovered that that the Bacille Calmette-Guerin, a century-old tuberculosis vaccine, may reduce the severity of coronavirus symptoms. They wanted to test the vaccine with healthcare workers on the frontlines and received a $10 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to make it happen.

Curve Tomorrow – and their spin-off company, WeGuide – were asked to build a digital data collection platform that would assist in monitoring the BCG trial’s results. The tech team worked round-the-clock to build the app in just two and a half weeks.

‍I was invited to tell their story.

Making an App that Works

The main benefit of the app is its convenience. I can’t imagine how we’d follow thousands of participants and collect their data without WeGuide!

Kaya Gardiner, Project Manager on the BRACE trial of the BCG vaccine in COVID-19

Before the MCRI team started to administer the BCG vaccine to a sample of 4000 Australian healthcare workers, there was an urgent need for a digital data collection platform that would assist in monitoring the trial’s results.

Typically, developers need between 2-6 months to perfect an app as sophisticated as this one. Thanks to the collective efforts and excellent collaboration between WeGuide and MCRI researchers, the team built this tool in just two and a half weeks. To facilitate the efficient collection of healthcare research data, WeGuide sits on top of the gold-standard research database RedCap. There is a seamless integration to securely pass information from a trial participant’s phone into the database.

Nowadays in healthcare, having access to data is not enough. Making sure you get the best quality data is key.

Sanji Kanagalingam, Executive Director of Curve

Through this app, healthcare workers who are unwell are tracked on a daily basis for any signs of COVID-19 symptoms. If symptoms are present, participants receive tailored alerts with advice. The app is designed in a way so that it eases the administrative burden on healthcare workers. It will automatically check-in with users when their adherence is likely to drop off and automatically alert the research team when a swab needs to be taken from the healthcare worker.

With added multi-language functionality, the app is now expanding into the Netherlands. The Dutch researchers have started enrolling further healthcare workers across 13 sites to take part in the BCG trial. It is expected to be rolled out to up to 12,000 people globally.

To read more, head here: https://www.weguide.com.au/blog/patient-centric-how-to-build-an-app-that-solves-global-issues