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Data to better understand and manage the COVID-19 pandemic is urgently needed. However, there are gaps in information stored within even the best routinely-collected electronic health records (EHR) including test results, remote consultations for suspected COVID-19, shielding, physical activity, mental health, and undiagnosed or untested COVID-19 patients. Observational and Pragmatic Research Institute (OPRI) Singapore and Optimum Patient Care (OPC) UK established Platform C19, a research database combining EHR data and bespoke patient questionnaire. We describe the demographics, clinical characteristics, patient behavior, and impact of the COVID-19 pandemic using data within Platform C19.
EHR data from Platform C19 were extracted from 14 practices across UK participating in the OPC COVID-19 Quality Improvement program on a continuous, monthly basis. Starting 7th August 2020, consenting patients aged 18–85 years were invited in waves to fill an online questionnaire. Descriptive statistics were summarized using all data available up to 22nd January 2021.
From 129,978 invitees, 31,033 responded. Respondents were predominantly female (59.6%), white (93.5%), and current or ex-smokers (52.6%). Testing for COVID-19 was received by 23.8% of respondents, of which 7.9% received positive results. COVID-19 symptoms lasted ≥4 weeks in 19.5% of COVID-19 positive respondents. Up to 39% respondents reported a negative impact on questions regarding their mental health. Most (67%-76%) respondents with asthma, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), diabetes, heart, or kidney disease reported no change in the condition of their diseases.
Platform C19 will enable research on key questions relating to COVID-19 pandemic not possible using EHR data alone.