ELAROS Director of R&D features in the AHSN Network 'Meet the Innovator' interview series

ELAROS’ director of Research and Development and part-time Research Fellow at the University of Leeds, Román Rocha Lawrence, was interviewed for the AHSN Network ‘Meet the Innovator’ interview series. The interview was around the innovation of the C19-YRS platform collaboratively launched with the University of Leeds, which is a digital platform to support specialist long COVID services through a patient-facing app and clinical web portal.

This innovation won the Outstanding Collaboration with Industry category at last year’s Innovate Awards, which celebrate innovation in health and care and are delivered by the AHSN Network in partnership with NHS Confederation.

Román spoke about why long COVID services are so valuable and why perseverance and enjoying the process is key to being an innovator.

Here is a snippet of the interview.

1. Tell us a little bit about your innovation. The what and the why?

It has been estimated that nearly two million people in the UK have experienced long COVID symptoms, a disease that didn’t even exist until just over three years ago[i], as of January 2023 (ONS). During the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, specialist clinics had to rapidly mobilise to meet the needs of patients suffering with the condition, all whilst new research and national guidelines were emerging.

The C19-YRS digital platform was developed collaboratively between ELAROS, University of Leeds, and the Leeds Long COVID Rehab Team. It was created in the midst of the pandemic to support specialist long COVID services with the remote assessment, triage, monitoring, management, and rehabilitation of long COVID patients through a patient-facing app and clinical web portal.

The platform is centred around the COVID-19 Yorkshire Rehabilitation Scale (‘C19-YRS’); the world’s first patient-reported outcome measure (PROM) designed specifically for long COVID by clinical researchers at University of Leeds and NHS Trusts across the West Yorkshire region.

To read the rest of the interview, click here