New technologies mean high quality patient care during epidemic

By Zhang Yangfei | | Updated: 2020-03-16 20:05

New technologies have helped doctors provide high quality care to patients with novel coronavirus infection, experts said on Monday.

Wu Dong, deputy chief physician at Peking Union Medical College Hospital, said China has utilized the 5G communication network to establish a virtual online consultation system where medics across the country routinely held online meetings and discussed some difficult cases "almost face to face".

Doctors in daily practice also have used regular mechanical ventilation, ultrasonography and continuous renal replacement therapy that Wu said gave them more weapons and opportunities to fight the coronavirus and protect people.

"It enabled us to provide high quality care to all of our patients," he added.

Du Bin, director of the medical intensive care unit at Beijing Union Medical College Hospital, said a teleconference with experts from hospitals thousands of miles apart is a common practice within each national medical team in cities of Central China's Hubei province, the outbreak's epicenter.

He said this virtual medical care system is not only for doctors but also for patients. People, especially those in Hubei who are asked to stay at home, can seek medical advice and get access to doctors through these virtual platforms or medical care applications whenever they need.

For people in home isolation, some researchers are trying to use artificial intelligence technologies to assess their probability of having COVID-19 or disease progression, when is the right time to see a doctor or if it is safe to continue to stay at home, Du said.

Although new technologies have been helpful, Wu said it was not new technologies that they relied on to bring the epidemic situation under control.

"We brought the situation under control because we are still following the classic theory of epidemiology, which is to control the source of infection, cut down the spread route and protect the susceptible population," he said.

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