Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust has teamed up with TestCard and SureScreen to create an app which makes recording Covid tests easier for both staff and patients.

The new smartphone app supports Covid testing and aims to lead to improved patient safety and flow, and help support the trust during the tough winter period.

TestCard’s ClearScreen is capable of turning a smartphone into a clinical-grade scanner that can capture and analyse lateral flow tests and remove the need for manual interpretation and result recording. After verifying that all steps have been undertaken correctly, the app will deliver a positive, negative or invalid result.

Current protocols only ask hospital visitors to take a lateral flow and report the result to staff but the new app will enable visitors to authenticate themselves with a unique QR token. Results will be recorded in the hospital NHS electronic patient records, and is fully compliant with Public Health England’s reporting requirements. The system means visitors can take the test at home before attending the hospital which will help save time for staff who currently manage the testing on behalf of visitors.

Dr Rahul Batra, clinical innovations and disruptive technologies lead in the Centre for Clinical Infection and Diagnostics Research at Guy’s and St Thomas’, said: “We have worked closely with TestCard and SureScreen to not only create a highly sensitive and specific LFD but to also develop the corresponding reporting application that allows for the trained users to administer the test, return a standard interpretation and provide an automated and reviewable result to the patient record.

“As LFD testing is now a core component of any patient pathway at Guy’s and St Thomas’ requiring an admission, a significant procedure or an intervention involving the airway, we feel that the introduction of this application will lead to improved patient/visitor flow and safety, thus allowing us to offer a wider range of inpatient and outpatient services to our community.”

The trust will initially pilot the solution in the inpatient department and plans to extend it to out-patient and day-case appointments. It will also be used by hospital visitors. The extended roll-out will allow for visitor numbers to be increased, after limiting them to halt the spread of Covid.

TestCard were the first ever winners of Digital Health Rewired Pitchfest in 2019, and since then have gone on to secure funding of £4.5million to aid expansion.

Andrew Botham, chief scientific officer and founder of TestCard, said: “It is our hope the work we have done with Guy’s and St Thomas’ will support hospitals during the Winter period and beyond. Visitors can perform the testing in the comfort and convenience of their own homes whilst ensuring the results produced are reliable, cutting out stress for them and hospital staff. For inpatients, the solution tests and records results with a level of accuracy and traceability hospitals do not currently have.”

David Campbell, director of SureScreen added: “We are excited to see how using the test with this platform allows for integration into digital platforms, helping reduce the administration of reporting results during routine testing.”