Analysis and evaluation of covid-19 web applications for health professionals: Challenges and opportunities

Hamid Mukhtar, Hafiz Farooq Ahmad, Muhammad Zahid Khan, Nasim Ullah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The multidisciplinary nature of the work required for research in the COVID-19 pandemic has created new challenges for health professionals in the battle against the virus. They need to be equipped with novel tools, applications, and resources—that have emerged during the pandemic—to gain access to breakthrough findings; know the latest developments; and to address their specific needs for rapid data acquisition, analysis, evaluation, and reporting. Because of the complex nature of the virus, healthcare systems worldwide are severely impacted as the treatment and the vaccine for COVID-19 disease are not yet discovered. This leads to frequent changes in regulations and policies by governments and international organizations. Our analysis suggests that given the abundance of information sources, finding the most suitable application for analysis, evaluation, or reporting, is one of such challenges. However, health professionals and policy-makers need access to the most relevant, reliable, trusted, and latest information and applications that can be used in their day-to-day tasks of COVID-19 research and analysis. In this article, we present our analysis of various novel and important web-based applications that have been specifically developed during the COVID-19 pandemic and that can be used by the health professionals community to help in advancing their analysis and research. These applications comprise search portals and their associated information repositories for literature and clinical trials, data sources, tracking dashboards, and forecasting models. We present a list of the minimally essential online, web-based applications to serve a multitude of purposes, from hundreds of those developed since the beginning of the pandemic. A critical analysis is provided for the selected applications based on 17 features that can be useful for researchers and analysts for their evaluations. These features make up our evaluation framework and have not been used previously for analysis and evaluation. Therefore, knowledge of these applications will not only increase productivity but will also allow us to explore new dimensions for using existing applications with more control, better management, and greater outcome of their research. In addition, the features used in our framework can be applied for future evaluations of similar applications and health professionals can adapt them for evaluation of other applications not covered in this analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number466
JournalHealthcare (Switzerland)
Volume8
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: This work was supported by Taif University Researchers Supporting Project number (TURSP-2020/144), Taif University, Taif, Saudi Arabia.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

Keywords

  • API
  • Dashboard
  • Interface
  • Metadata
  • Visualization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics
  • Health Policy
  • Health Information Management
  • Leadership and Management

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