The escalating war in Ukraine is devastating a healthcare system that supports over 40 million people. The disruption of basic public health services and mass population displacement has led to a humanitarian crisis within Ukraine as well as in neighboring nations.
An alarming example of the health challenges faced is the current outbreak of poliovirus in Ukraine. As Ukrainian refugees continue to be displaced and evacuated, there may be widespread infection with poliovirus traversing through other countries.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has called for action to prevent, identify, and rapidly respond to the healthcare emergency.
The Firstline platform can help.
Firstline offers an innovative technology platform for rapidly disseminating medical recommendations, which is currently supporting over 400 hospitals and health organizations around the world. The platform distributes guidance in several languages, with speed and optimal information design, through a free mobile app. This technology can be applied in Ukraine to efficiently disseminate trusted information, particularly regarding:
- Trauma clinical guidance
- Humanitarian/refugee guidance
- Infectious Disease clinical guidance
This post highlights a few of the key factors that distinguish Firstline’s readiness and ability to immediately assist Ukraine.
Speed of implementation
Firstline has been rapidly implemented in the COVID-19 pandemic to emergently disseminate information, which is continually updated as more research becomes available. Using Firstline, Horizon Health Network in Canada was able to deliver emergency COVID-19 treatment guidelines to their providers within 2 weeks of adoption. As the pandemic evolves, new information is continually added and updated. The experts on our information design team prioritize updates to emergency guidance, leading to turnaround times for new resources of less than 24 hours.
Universal Mobile Access
During mass displacements, access to computers and the internet is limited. Firstline delivers guidance using a mobile app compatible with all smartphones, taking advantage of the widespread use of mobile devices. Once downloaded, the app does not require internet connectivity, which ensures accessibility at any time. Using this technology, the Firstline platform is currently used with success in Nigeria and Uganda, two low- and middle-income countries with unreliable connectivity.
Firstline can support any language. We currently manage healthcare information in English, Russian, French, Swedish, Dutch, Italian, and Korean.
Algorithmic Decision Making
Utilizing Firstline’s extensive information design experience, guidance documents are provided in the app using an algorithmic format. This facilitates the rapid identification of relevant information and straightforward decision making. The algorithmic organization of information is ideal for supporting healthcare providers who have been called from their familiar specialty to provide care on the front lines.
This format has been adapted by Firstline to function readily for a variety of different guideline types. This includes recommendations to address trauma, pediatric and maternal conditions, vaccination schedules, and infectious diseases among many others.
Global Expert Community
Founded with support from the Government of Canada, and with a membership of some 500 of the world’s clinical infectious disease experts, the Firstline Community is a uniquely powerful source of support, experience and knowledge.
The Community gathered with a mission to share and improve clinical knowledge and collaboration in infectious diseases and public health. Members are willing and able to support international and local healthcare providers and administrators by collaboratively sharing expert clinical knowledge.
Peer to peer, from Ottawa to Kyiv. Los Angeles to Kharkiv. Vancouver to Lviv. Clinical knowledge without borders.
Firstline’s story started in 2015 to address the challenge of delivering ever-changing antimicrobial stewardship guidance from experts to frontline healthcare providers in a way that is easy to use at the point of care. Since then, we have expanded to deliver clinical guidance in areas like COVID-19, opioid prescribing and trauma. Now, we stand ready and able to support the humanitarian need of Ukraine.