From The Daily Pennsylvanian: A study found that Penn Medicine’s COVID Watch technology saved two lives per week during the pandemic’s early days through an automated health check-in system powered by text message. On Mar. 23, 2020, two weeks after Penn Medicine admitted its first COVID-19 patient, COVID Watch launched, allowing participants to track symptoms from home, Penn Medicine News reported. A team of registered nurses staffed the program and escalated patients with concerning conditions to a designated group of health care providers. As of today, nearly 20,000 individuals have enrolled in the program. In August 2020, Penn Medicine received a $2.5 million grant by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute to further study the program’s impact on patient outcomes over a two-year period, specifically considering the communities that have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic. “Automation isn’t something that will replace human clinical care, but it is something that can extend it,” David Asch, one of the study’s authors and executive director of the Center for Health Care Innovation, told Penn Medicine News. “Without an automated system to help us watch over the thousands of COVID patients in our community, our doctors and nurses would have been stretched even thinner than they were.” Read the full story at The Daily Pennsylvanian.