Surging cases of coronavirus infections are once again putting pressure on hospital facilities and workers. It's getting to a point wherein the number of patients needing immediate medical attention is overwhelming doctors. In an effort to assist the people directly responsible for the care of those infected who exhibit unique symptoms, professionals have turned to Cure ID for help. The database was recently updated to include COVID-19 which makes it a crucial resource for healthcare specialists around the world to share their findings.

Dr. Raghav Tirupathi, an infectious disease expert based in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, claims that he has relied on the app for guidance regularly, reports CNN. So far, based on the suggestions from other doctors, his patients were treated with convalescent plasma, antiviral remdesivir, and corticosteroid dexamethasone. The guidelines even include details of which drug can be administered and in what order.

"Things happen quickly and we can't afford to think about phases," explains Tirupathi. They reassure me that I'm not the only one doing it. We use Cure to justify what we are doing in our institution." The Cure ID app was developed and launched by the United States Food and Drug Administration last year in December. The original purpose of the platform was to discover new uses for existing drugs.

This practice hopes that a cure can be developed by repurposing instead of developing new ones. The latter can normally take up to 10 years with costs estimated to reach approximately $2.6 billion, as detailed by trade group Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America.

Cure ID not only focuses on medication but also sheds light on some rare diseases that are often ignored by leading drug manufacturers. The FDA recognises the impact of COVID-19 globally and has updated the app to include a section dedicated to everything about the disease.

Dexamethasone treatments start in US hospitals
Dexamethasone, a commonly-used steroid, can help critically-ill COVID-19 patients, according to a new study AFP / JUSTIN TALLIS

"Time is of the essence to find new therapies for Covid," stated the government agency's health science policy analyst and app project lead Heather Stone. "Cures may already be sitting on a pharmaceutical shelf somewhere as we speak." Cure ID breaks down barriers that segregate doctors by their academic disciplines. This allows users to share insights as to what might possibly work against the 2019 novel coronavirus