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Digital rehabilitation tool for COVID-19 shortlisted for excellence in patient care award

Person using a mobile phone

The interdisciplinary team behind an innovative programme to aid COVID-19 patients’ recovery have been in the final shortlist for the Royal College of Physicians’ Excellence in Patient Care Award

After a difficult year full of unprecedented challenges for all physicians and healthcare professionals, the awards aim to recognise, celebrate and promote the work that physicians do to improve patient care through education, policy, clinical practice and research.

Living With Covid Recovery was shortlisted for the ‘Digital Award’ which particularly recognises the use of new or existing technologies or digitally driven projects that have contributed to significant improvements in patient care or health outcomes. 

The Living With Covid Recovery tool targets patients who have had COVID infection and are continuing to recover and rehabilitate. The rehabilitation programme targets primary symptoms that ‘long-haulers’ report experiencing for many weeks and even months after the peak of their infection – such as fatigue, anxiety and breathing problems. It combines evidence-based methods from physiotherapists, psychologists, dieticians and respiratory physicians to create bespoke treatment plans for each patient.

By delivering aspects of rehabilitation remotely, the programme helps NHS staff support more patients than would normally be possible in a timely and cost-effective way. As of May 2021, Living With Covid Recovery is currently helping over 430 patients with their recovery across over 15 NHS clinics. 

Prof Elizabeth Murray, Deputy Director (Clinical) at UCL Institute of Healthcare Engineering said: “We are delighted to see this programme being recognised by these awards at the same time as we continue to roll out the service across more NHS trusts. It is rewarding to know that more patients experiencing the debilitating symptoms of Long Covid can access supported rehabilitation therapy to help them recover.”

The full interdisciplinary team includes UCL health researchers and computer scientists in collaboration with UCLPartnersBarts Health NHS Trust, NIHR Applied Research Collaborations for Wessex and North Thames (NIHR ARC Wessex and NIHR ARC North Thames), University of Southampton and University of Exeter. The app and dashboard have been developed by Living With, a private digital health company that already delivers a range of remote condition management products across the NHS