Recording the numbers – is it enough?

As Victoria and Queensland mark another day of extremely high new COVID-19 cases and a "significant increase" in hospitalisations, health professionals say that the high numbers being seen are likely caused by the fact that rapid antigen test results are now formally being recorded.

Established and rolled out quickly to accommodate the rampant spread of the virus, the online registration systems provide an important tool for the initial capturing of infections data so that healthcare resources can be allocated – but does it go far enough?

Head of an Australian-based medtech company with a proven application and reporting platform developed over the past 24 months, Graham Gordon, CEO and founder of Gardian, believes the state-based systems are a “good first step”.

“In order to be able to fully understand, and respond to the virus effectively, we require a national platform that does more than record name, address and a test result.

“What is required is an end-to-end, deep data system that ensures the test has been conducted correctly, is capable of recording the test type, batch numbers and expiry dates – in the event of a possible recall – who has taken the test, where the test was taken, at what time and a traceable result.

In addition to reducing costs, the system should provide solid data that the government can use for effectively managing the spread within LGAs and allocating the appropriate healthcare resources.

Featuring image-based instructions to ensure ease of use for those whose first language is not English, or simply cannot speak or read English, the Gardian Self Check app is just such a system. Providing an auditable process for self-testing, the app is capable of capturing individual identification and consent, the details of the test and a certifiable Covid rapid test outcome in a certificate form that may be shared with employers, health departments or a government-based platform.

Furthermore, for those using the app, auto emails and a management system can be activated to ensure that the user is provided with access to a telehealth consultation with a qualified nurse practitioner, and a health certificate issued to those that need it. As security and privacy are of paramount importance, the data recorded is protected and used in accordance with the AMA Code of Ethics (2016).

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