Research Description:

The first cases of the Covid-19 virus in Rwanda surfaced in March and the Rwandan government responded decisively and rapidly, adopting extremely strict measures (lockdown) to reduce the volume of patients attending hospitals. In this way the pandemic has highlighted and intensified the critical need to develop virtual infrastructures to continue to support vulnerable patients and their families at home.

To respond to these challenges, we hypothesise the efficacy of a smart-phone application to track patient’s symptoms in real-time. The building of such an application would enable palliative care teams to more efficiently respond to patients with uncontrolled symptoms, more appropriately triage home visits and phone calls, improve patients’ ability to communicate their needs with home care teams, and ultimately have an impact on patient outcomes. In short, it will allow for both the assessment and management of pain and other symptoms for advanced-stage cancer patients during pandemic situations in Rwanda.

(Photo: Chris Swagga)