Safe Steps is teaming up with a North West care authority to track coronavirus cases among residents in more than 500 care homes. Tony McDonough reports
Digital health tech company Safe Steps is joining the battle against the coronavirus epidemic in North West care homes.
The Liverpool firm is teaming up with Greater Manchester Health & Care Authority to release a new COVID-19 tracker that will be used to track cases of the virus in more than 500 care homes in Greater Manchester.
Britain remains in a lockdown phase although a fall in the hospital death rate has given hope that the Government will soon begin to lift the restrictions with the help of a rigorous testing and tracing regime.
However, the situation in care homes remains critical with fears the number of infections, and deaths, are far high than official figures are showing so far. Safe Steps’ tracker will offer much better visibility for clinicians and care workers on how many elderly residents are at risk.
Its says he app is simple and efficient so it takes very little time for the front line care workers to input the updated status of health of their residents. Through access to real-time dashboards, this enables NHS teams to prioritise their response and resources where they’re needed the most.
Professor Martin Vernon, leading geriatrician and previously NHS England Clinical Director for Older People said: “The need for accurate data during the CV-19 crisis will require a rapid response by each care home to collect key elements about their residents’ health status to help inform the NHS system about how best to support care home needs.
“The Safe Steps COVID-19 Core data tracker will streamline and speed-up this data collection – making it possible to access a real-time dashboard which will help us make the right strategic decisions at pace.”
The rollout began last week in Tameside & Glossop with initial feedback from care homes being extremely positive. There is a goal to roll the app out across all other Greater Manchester localities in the coming weeks.
Supported by Health Innovation Manchester, Safe Steps is working to support, train and onboard care homes, GPs and response teams as they get to grips with the new technology.
Managing Director James Chapman added: “When the current pandemic really started to accelerate we decided to use our technology and experience in this sector to rapidly build a new app – not because we had to, but because the team here are passionate about doing everything we can to help our ageing loved ones, relatives, neighbours stay safe.
“Being able to play a small part in the NHS response to the current crisis is both humbling and motivating at the same time. I’m really proud of my team for stepping up to the challenge, but we also know the real heroes are the NHS workers on the frontline – we are just trying to support them.”