We know that Covid-19 is a difficult disease to diagnose for most of us. Its first symptoms are often confused with those of a more “common” illness. And yet, every day, the number of patients continues to grow. A website has therefore been set up to help French people worried about having been infected with the coronavirus to assess their symptoms and to be advised on the procedure to follow.
The maladiecoronavirus.fr site (click on this link to access it), referenced by the Ministry of Health, allows all those who think they are infected to take an anonymous and free “test”: 24 questions about their symptoms (fever, cough , respiratory discomfort, body aches…) but also on his medical history, his age.
“Reduce calls to Samu”
Thanks to an algorithm developed and updated with the latest available scientific knowledge, in collaboration with medical specialists and the Pasteur Institute, the site then advises you either to stay simply confined to your home, to consult your treating doctor or to immediately call 15. “This is not a diagnosis, it is an assessment of the state of health in order to know where we should be directed to,” explains Dr. Fabrice Denis, member of the brand new Digital Alliance against Covid-19.
The goal is to reassure, but also to “reduce unnecessary calls to the Samu, which is saturated,” said the oncologist, who launched a few years ago an application for personalized monitoring of lung cancer patients.
After the first discreet launch on Wednesday (to allow a “flash experiment” first), the site recorded more than 600,000 connections in three days, said its designers.
“Of these, only 10% of people were directed to the 15th. A figure which illustrates the usefulness of the site in reducing the pressure on the 15th”, according to their press release.
The Digital Alliance against Covid-19, initiated by private players, now has a dozen members including the start-up Kelindi who coordinates the project, Docaposte (digital subsidiary of La Poste Group), AG2R La Mondiale or Allianz France .
Non-personal data and “stored in the strictest respect for security and confidentiality” by Docaposte will be made available to the Institut Pasteur. To assess the evolution of the epidemic, while most patients do not benefit from laboratory tests to confirm or not their contamination.
“Department by Department” monitoring
“We will be able to follow, department by department, the number of patients who have declared a cough with fever and shortness of breath and we will be able to see over time that this number decreases for example”, explains Dr Denis.
“These indications will be correlated with those of the hospital services which see the patients pass by and we will see if we can anticipate, for example, a drop in patients requiring resuscitation”, he added.
According to the latest assessment announced Friday evening by the health authorities, France has more than 12,000 confirmed cases and 450 deaths.