A COVID recovery app has been launched to support people experiencing the longer term effects of coronavirus.
The bilingual app has been developed by the NHS Wales respiratory health group on behalf of the Welsh Government and is designed to offer people a bespoke tool and personal coach to help them on their road to recovery.
With more than 100 videos and links to advice, app users will be able to record their symptoms, track their progress and learn to manage their condition at home with support. It includes advice from therapists, psychologists, dietitians and consultants.
The app is part of a wider national approach to support people with post-COVID syndrome, which includes supporting health professionals to recognise the symptoms, signposting people to support and providing a clear pathway for people as they go through the healthcare system.
Post-COVID-19 syndrome, also known as long COVID, has been defined as signs and symptoms that develop during or after an infection consistent with coronavirus that continue for more than 12 weeks and are not explained by an alternative diagnosis.
It is anticipated that people are able to access the majority of the support they need close to home, and people should only have to travel for more specialised services which have to be provided in an acute hospital setting.
Health minister Vaughan Gething said: We are still learning about the virus but it is estimated that around that around one in 10 people who have had coronavirus suffer some long term symptoms. The launch of this app, which is the first of its kind, is to reassure those people that there is support available to them and that they are not alone.
“Anyone can download the app but we’re also asking health professionals to recommend it to their patients so that their care can continue at home long after their appointment ends.
“GPs are still best placed to signpost their patients to appropriate support, carry out testing to look for any treatable symptoms and refer patients to specialist consultants if necessary, this will of course mean that support is still available for anyone without a smart phone.”