Try Interactive Demo
Knack: No-Code Application Development Platform
In the ever-evolving tech landscape, no-code application development has emerged…
In today’s fast-paced digital landscape, businesses are constantly seeking innovative…
Template Marketplace
Knack: No-Code Application Development Platform
Track current inventory by managing shipments and orders.
Retain customers by offering a self-serve portal.

How Frontline UK NHS Healthcare Workers Are Using No-Code Software to Fight Coronavirus on a Global Scale

  • Written By: admin

In the battle against COVID-19, it’s easy to follow the strides and stumbles of presidents and prime ministers. But years from now, when the books are written and movies made, the best stories will be of those who put their lives at risk on the front lines of the pandemic.

COVID-19 London

In the battle against COVID-19, it’s easy to follow the strides and stumbles of presidents and prime ministers. But years from now, when the books are written and movies made, the best stories will be of those who put their lives at risk on the front lines of the pandemic.

As the dark clouds of COVID-19 gathered over Europe, Danny Wong, a hospital anaesthetist and researcher in the UK, knew it was time to act.

“I work at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospitals in London, and was anticipating the arrival of the pandemic in the UK.” Wong explains, “As healthcare workers performing intubations, I anticipated that we would be at high risk of contracting the virus ourselves.”

Guys and St Thomas NHS Hospitals

Due to the high viral load to which healthcare workers are exposed, it was theorized that they were at much greater risk. Proving it is another matter.  Unfortunately, anyone who has tried to keep up with COVID-19 knows that solid data has been almost impossible to find. But when fighting a pandemic, data drives policy decisions and resource allocations that affect millions.  Good data can ultimately mean the difference between life and death on a potentially massive scale.

“I discussed this with some of my colleagues,” Wong recounts,  “And we agreed it was a good idea to try and audit and monitor our clinical activity as well as find out how many of us would eventually develop COVID-19.”

For this data to be meaningful, it would need to be collected in as many healthcare facilities as possible. Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospitals are part of the UK’s National Health Service (NHS), so Wong had access to other facilities. But there were challenges. System resources were already being taxed by the pandemic, and no software was available to coordinate data across hospitals. 

Taking matters into his own hands, Wong investigated technology that would allow healthcare workers to submit their own data from NHS hospitals across the UK. Emailing spreadsheets was a non-starter, as it would be too time-consuming for Wong to fulfill his hospital duties while having to manually combine submissions. Google Drive provides forms that can dump input into a central spreadsheet, but would make it impossible to validate entries, again resulting in a glut of unusable data. And getting approval for a custom development project would have cost valuable time.

No stranger to cutting-edge technology, Wong chose Knack, a no-code development platform that allows users to rapidly build data-centric applications.

Danny Wong NHS COVID-19 Tweet

“It seemed to satisfy most of our requirements,” observes Wong, “Affordability, ease of database set up, ability to trial the product before committing funds to it, adequate security to host data from the UK NHS, and the public information for the security standards was comprehensive compared to competitors.” 

And just as important, it allowed the data entry workflows to be performed wherever healthcare workers needed to be.

“We anticipated that healthcare workers would not want to have to find a computer terminal to input data,” he notes, “(Knack) was mobile/smartphone friendly.”

With a platform chosen, he got to work. And with his sense of urgency paired with the  rapid-development capabilities of Knack, Wong was able to get results astonishingly fast.

“Within about 3 or 4 days we had a working prototype,” he says. “And after about another week of trialing and tweaking the app and database in our hospital, we could roll out nationwide.”

NHS Love

A few days after IntubateCOVID was launched, the pandemic suddenly became personal. Wong began to feel ill and chose to self-isolate. After running a fever for 8 days, he received test results confirming that he had contracted COVID-19

Forced to work remotely while his condition worsened, Wong continued to fight back. He pressed on with improving the app and promoting adoption. 

Soon, his work began to pay off.

Today, the IntubateCOVID app has been adopted by thousands of healthcare workers at hundreds of facilities in over a dozen countries, all with little training or top-down coordination. The app now has the official backing of many respected healthcare organizations. The app is collecting and disseminating invaluable data around the world.

Perhaps just as importantly, it has become a symbol of healthcare workers uniting on a grassroots level to stem the tide of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

For our part, Knack is endeavoring to help these efforts by providing free service for any not-for-profit apps assisting in the COVID-19 response.

On April 13th, after a full recovery, Danny Wong returned to work on the front lines of the pandemic. He’s back, fighting alongside the other heroes at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospitals in London.