Our frontline healthcare workers face an unprecedented clinical knowledge challenge- not only do they need to develop new approaches to diagnosis and treatment for COVID-19, a frightening new disease, but even basic clinical operational practices (eg PPE use and staffing) require innovation as the healthcare system becomes stretched.
It has been inspiring to see the global medical community explode with knowledge creation over the last 2 months to answer some of these questions. On platforms like Twitter, new studies, hacks, protocols and resources are shared hourly. Unfortunately, it is very hard for frontline clinicians to keep track of information on these platforms or access it at the point of care.
We wanted to create a resource that leveraged the dynamic wisdom of the global medical community but at the same time presented knowledge in a way that easily consumable by frontline clinicians.
What it does
We built Community COVID19 Clinical Resources as a website where: -People around the world can contribute ideas, protocols, hacks or anything else that might be useful for frontline clinicians -Frontline clinicians can easily review useful resources in an organized fashion -A select group of curators can collaborate to help curate submitted resources on an ongoing basis.
How I built it
After reviewing multiple approaches, including building a standalone web application, we decided to build this website in Airtable, which is an interactive database software platform.
We chose Airtable because of its intuitive user interface, capability to self-organize topics (very important to making the resource consumable), and very importantly, its robust stability and scalability as an established platform.
We seeded the website with resources that we had been collecting independently, and look forward to more being submitted!
Challenges I ran into
It was at times challenging to wrestle with the constraints of our chosen platform, Airtable. For example, we would have liked there for the general medical community to help out with curation through simple up- or down-voting of ideas. While a standalone, custom web application would have allowed more flexibility for features like this, it would have taken much longer to build and would have been challenging to maintain with any degree of growth
In the end, given the urgency of this crisis, we decided to take path that enabled us to ship something quickly that was also very reliable.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
I am proud at how quickly we were able to go from concept to delivering something that is ready for the broader medical community to use and contribute. Even in its current form, I believe the website delivers value to frontline clinicians.
What I learned
I learned the importance of focusing on finding the shortest path to delivering value, so that you can start testing and learning. This mindset is especially important in crisis situations such as the one we currently face.
What's next for Community COVID Clinical Resources
The CCCR Website is fully operational and ready for clinicians to use and for the broader medical community to provide contributions. I would like to start sharing the resource on social media to disseminate it as widely as possible. I'd also like to start to find a few individuals with medical expertise to help in the ongoing curation of submissions.
If you'd like to help please tweet the below out (or retweet my post!)
Lots of great ideas+thinking on treatment/mgmt of #COVID19 being shared. Need a place to collect, curate and share with our frontline HCWs. If you want to VIEW: https://bit.ly/3bfHSuT. If you want to SHARE: https://bit.ly/2x7vT3Y. If you want to help curate, pls DM @avinjamoori!
Try It out