New Covid testing smartphone app significantly reduces admin time for hospital staff

In a UK first, staff at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust (GSTT) are using an innovative new app called ClearScreen, created by UK-based medtech enterprise TestCard, which frees up NHS staff from an, at times, overwhelming administrative burden. The app also ensures safe and reliable Covid-19 antigen testing for patients, visitors and staff at this critical time.

Dr Rahul Batra, Clinical Innovations and Disruptive Technologies Lead in the Centre for Clinical Infection and Diagnostics Research at Guy’s and St Thomas’ comments, “Using this digital reading application we were able to realise the potential diagnostic, infection control and operational benefit inpatient Lateral Flow testing could offer. In real time, the ClearScreen team were able to react and provide solutions to the numerous issues that arise in developing and deploying new technology within the NHS, at speed and during an unprecedented global pandemic.”

The addition of lateral flow testing into clinical settings has added significantly to the workload of staff who are already at times overstretched. The very nature of these manual tests makes tracking of kits, the confirmation of patient information, and the recording of results a very manual and time consuming process. The ClearScreen app supports hospital  staff in reading and recording tests efficiently and accurately, allowing for the safe and orderly management of patients, staff, and visitors through the hospital and reducing the administrative burden.

TestCard originally approached SureScreen, the leading UK lateral flow test manufacturer, early in the pandemic and both companies realised they could provide comprehensive digital and diagnostic support to public health bodies in responding to this unprecedented crisis. Working together, the innovative ClearScreen solution was born.

The ClearScreen solution uses SureScreen’s UK-manufactured and government-approved shallow nasal swab antigen tests. TestCard’s smartphone app turns the phone into a clinical grade scanner that captures and analyses the now familiar lateral flow test (LFT) without the need for manual result recording. The app digitally analyses the test cassette and allows staff to send a result directly to the Electronic Patient Record quickly and easily.

Significantly, TestCard has ensured that the app is compliant with the UK Health Security Agency’s (UKHSA) reporting requirements for visitors to NHS Trusts. The result is securely retained for traceability, making it safer and more secure.

Andrew Botham, Chief Scientific Officer and Founder at TestCard comments, “We’re delighted that our new ClearScreen app is alleviating the time pressure on NHS staff, who are already stretched so incredibly thin. Thanks to this innovative approach visitors can perform the testing with confidence, whilst ensuring the results produced are reliable, cutting out stress for them and hospital staff. For inpatients, the solution tests and records results with a level of accuracy and traceability hospitals do not currently have for tests of this kind.”

Current UKHSA guidance states that visitors to hospitals in England take a lateral flow test and simply present the results to staff.  With the new app, the visitor will be invited via email to download the app onto their own mobile device and authenticate themselves with a unique QR token. The user will be given training within the app on how to self-administer the test. They can then take the test provided by the hospital at home before the visit, (helping save time for hospital staff who currently manage the lateral flow testing for visitors), or do it on-site at the hospital. Their results will be recorded in the hospital portal for reporting and compliance purposes.

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