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Article Highlight

A system designed to monitor COVID-19 patients at home using automated text messages saved a life about twice a week during the early days of the pandemic, and overall, patients who enrolled in the system — called COVID Watch — were 68 percent less likely to die, according to results published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Supported in part by PCORI funding, the study — led by Mucio Delgado, MD, MS, at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine — analyzed data from every adult who received outpatient care from Penn Medicine over eight months in 2020. Regardless of income, race, or health risks, patients enrolled in COVID Watchbenefited, likely due to increased access to and use of telemedicine as well as more frequent and earlier trips to the hospital when symptoms worsened—an average of two days earlier for COVID Watch patients.

*This paper received AcademyHealth's 2022 Publication of the Year Award. In addition, the paper was included on the Annals of Internal Medicine's "Best of 2021" list.

Full Citation

Delgado MK, Morgan AU, Asch DA, Xiong R, Kilaru AS, Lee KC, Do D, Friedman AB, Meisel ZF, Snider CK, Lam D, Parambath A, Wood C, Wilson CM, Perez M, Chisholm DL, Kelly S, O'Malley CJ, Mannion N, Huffenberger AM, McGinley S, Balachandran M, Khan N, Mitra N, Chaiyachati KH. Comparative Effectiveness of an Automated Text Messaging Service for Monitoring COVID-19 at Home. Ann Intern Med. 2021 Nov 16. doi: 10.7326/M21-2019. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34781715.


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