App tracks coronavirus symptoms to reserve hospitals for sickest

Published: May. 6, 2020 at 2:41 PM EDT
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For many recovering from the coronavirus, it's a roller coaster with symptoms getting better and worse, sometimes for weeks.

The Mount Sinai Precision Recovery program in New York is monitoring patients at home to make sure they get care if they need it. Patients measure oxygen saturation, blood pressure and temperature daily. Vitals are entered into an app and then patients answer questions about symptoms.

Health care providers also conduct telemedicine visits. The goal is to save the hospital for the sickest.

"Symptoms are going to worsen and get better and worsen again, so that's where Precision Recovery comes in. It's a way to track that symptom change and to communicate with the patient as the symptoms change to give them advice on whether or not they need to come in," said Dr. Christopher Kellner, co-director of the Precision Recovery program.

After experiencing fatigue and stomach issues, Zinovy Baron had a stroke in late March. His daughter Rebecca says his words were slurred and he wasn't making much sense, so she called 911.

"I was taken to the hospital and it's kind of blurry," Zinovy said.

Tests revealed the coronavirus caused his stroke.

Doctors are reporting similar cases nationwide, including some younger COVID-19 patients with no risk factors who are also showing signs of stroke.

"Not everybody, but some patients with COVID will form clots more easily," Kellner said.

Zinovy received experimental convalescent plasma treatment.

"I would say a week into it, like, he was already feeling slightly better, you know, mentally was coming back to his senses. His lab values were normalizing and everything was just heading in the right direction," Rebecca said.

After nearly three weeks in the hospital, Zinovy is grateful to be back home with his daughter, monitoring his health with the Precision Recovery app.

About 700 patients are currently enrolled in the Precision Recovery program.