Case Studies

The Survival Box; Virtual ward

COVID-19 is a serious respiratory illness that can cause a range of symptoms, from no symptoms at all to fatal illnesses. The most common symptoms are fever, cough, and fatigue. People who are older or have certain underlying health conditions are more likely to develop severe illnesses. The virus spreads through respiratory droplets and can be transmitted through the air. During the COVID-19 pandemic, hospitals were often overwhelmed with severe cases, so people with mild to moderate symptoms were advised to self-quarantine at home. However, some of these patients later developed severe illnesses, highlighting the importance of monitoring vital signs for this group.

As the COVID-19 pandemic spread and people were required to self-quarantine to prevent the further spread of the virus, Chulalongkorn University recognized the need for a system to monitor the health of these patients. In response, Chulalongkorn University partnered with the Chulalongkorn University Alumni Association and The Sharpener Co., Ltd. to develop the Survival Box, a digital healthcare platform that includes a virtual ward.

The Survival Box is designed to provide necessary medical supplies and equipment for monitoring the vital signs of COVID-19 patients who are self-quarantining. When a patient enrolls in the program, the Survival Box is delivered to their home within 24 hours. The Survival Box platform, which is connected to the LINE chat application, a widely used communication tool in Thailand, allows patients to submit their daily medical information, vital signs, and clinical developments. This helps to facilitate the process of understanding and tracking the patient’s health status.

The patients in the virtual ward were monitored by trained volunteers. These volunteers were available to offer assistance in case of an emergency, and there were also volunteer doctors who can provide advice for abnormal clinical signs. The combination of medical supplies, monitoring by trained volunteers, and advice from volunteer doctors helped to ensure that COVID-19 patients who were self-quarantining have access to the care and support they needed to manage their health.

In addition to the medical supplies and monitoring provided through the Survival Box platform, the platform also offered e-learning materials to help patients gain a better understanding of various topics related to COVID-19. These materials covered a range of subjects, such as how to use the equipment provided in the Survival Box to measure vital signs, which values of vital signs are most important to track, how to take care of oneself while sick, and how to properly take medications.

Between January 7 and July 4, 2022, a total of 4521 Survival Boxes were distributed to students, staff, and alumni of Chulalongkorn University, while an additional 5900 Survival Boxes were provided to the general public, including immigrants and refugees. The Survival Box program was not only implemented in Bangkok but also in other areas such as Ratchaburi and Krabi provinces. The effectiveness of this model in addressing the needs of COVID-19 patients during the pandemic has led to consideration of its potential application to other diseases as well.

Source: Siamrath online
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Chulalongkorn University Alumni Association Under the Royal Patronage of His Majesty the King

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