A group of researchers from Universiti Malaya (UM) has developed the COVID Symptom Monitoring System (CoSMoS), a new system that helps to monitor patients with suspected COVID-19 infection. The Universiti Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC) has started using CoSMoS to monitor suspected COVID-19 individuals who are undergoing self-quarantine at home. The system will soon be ready for use among healthcare workers who have been exposed to COVID-19 patients.
Currently, a large number of healthcare workers are required to monitor these patients by calling them daily or visiting them at home. With the CoSMoS application, this monitoring process is automated where patients can enter their daily symptoms into CoSMoS, which will then be sent to the CoSMoS centralised system at UMMC where doctors can access their information in real time via a dashboard. With CoSMoS, the healthcare workers have to call only 10% of the patients who really need care. The rest who are well can be monitored by CoSMoS daily. This will free up 80-90% of healthcare workers to conduct contact tracing and testing.
Dato’ Prof. Dr. Adeeba Kamarulzaman, an expert in infectious diseases, also the UMMC COVID-19 Taskforce Chair and Dean of the Faculty of Medicine in UM said “CoSMoS is going to change the way we manage patients with suspected COVID-19 infection who are being monitored at home. Currently, the healthcare system is under tremendous pressure. A medical officer spends 10-15 minutes every day to call and follow-up a patient for 14 days.”
Adeeba added “Currently in UMMC, we have more than 1000 patients and healthcare workers who have been exposed to COVID-19 and require daily follow up, and this takes up at least 3500 man-hours. Using CoSMoS, it helps to free up the healthcare workers in UMMC from manually calling patients.
CoSMoS utilises readily available technology to ensure it is affordable and accessible to the majority of the population. Patients use a Telegram Bot to report their daily symptoms in an interactive manner, thus relieving the time and cost of healthcare workers from calling the patients over the phone. The Bot will remind the patients every morning to report their symptoms, and advise patients based on their reported symptoms. CoSMoS also provides a back-end dashboard that will assist healthcare workers in managing the patients.
CoSMoS is currently undergoing pilot testing at UMMC and has obtained ethical approval from the UMMC Medical Research Ethics Committee. All patients using CoSMoS have given consent for their data to be used for clinical monitoring and research.
About the Development
CoSMoS was developed through a close collaboration between the clinicians from the Department of Primary Care Medicine, UMMC, and the development team consists of 30 Malaysians currently in various countries, including Malaysia, Singapore, China, and Australia. They are either studying or working in these countries and are all staffs, graduates and students of the Faculty of Computer Science and Information Technology, Universiti Malaya.
Datin Prof. Dr. Sameem Abdul Kareem, the Dean of Faculty of Computer Science and Information Technology said, “We have put together a team of brilliant young Malaysian computer scientists from the faculty to help our frontliners in their time of need. CoSMoS platform is 100% UM in-house development, leveraging on public messaging engine, artificial intelligence and web technology. The team has used what they have learnt in UM into a real-world solution within 8 days and as the Dean, I am very proud of them”.
CoSMoS Development Team