In people with Long Covid does adding a digital health platform to usual care improve outcomes at three months compared to usual care alone? The Enhancing Covid Rehabilitation with Technology (ECORT) randomised controlled trial

Hatcher, Simon | $922,869

Ontario Ottawa Hospital Research Institute 2021 CIHR Operating Grant

About one in five people who test positive for covid-19 continue to have symptoms for longer than five weeks. Similar long-term consequences of infection were described by physicians following the Russian Flu in the 1890’s, the Spanish Flu in 1919 and more recently after SARS and MERS. The commonest symptoms are fatigue and breathlessness, but symptoms are highly variable and have been described involving most body systems. The variety of different presentations makes describing a clear treatment pathway difficult. Currently, rehabilitation for Long Covid involves education, symptom management, managed goal setting and support in navigating the health system. In other chronic disorders, symptom tracking, changing treatment in response to alterations in symptoms (measurement-based care) and case management are more effective than usual care in improving outcomes. There is some evidence that these activities can be delivered more effectively using digital platforms, usually with a patient-facing app and a clinician-facing dashboard. There have been no trials of such platforms in Long Covid rehabilitation programs. This study aims to complete a randomized controlled trial in people with Long Covid to test the effectiveness of a digital health platform, NexJ (). Participants will be recruited from two specialist Long Covid rehabilitation clinics. The main aim of the study is to see whether, in people with Long Covid, adding NexJ to usual care improves quality of life after 12 weeks compared to usual care alone. We will also ask participants about their experience of using NexJ. As part of the trial, we will examine the cost-effectiveness of NexJ and the best way to implement it. If we show NexJ improves outcomes it has the potential to be rapidly rolled out in Canada to provide personalized rehabilitation for people with Long Covid.

With funding from the Government of Canada

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