Open-source response for COVID-19
COVID-19 knows also as Coronavirus is already in the whole world in every country. It’s rapidly growing and infects more and more people. The virus kills about 4% of infected, it may not look at big. But when we look at the number of sick people and how many of them will die. It’s an enormous number. There are more than 440 thousand confirmed cases and more than 20 thousand of deaths. And will be more. Some people say that even 10% of the whole population can die. At Earth lives about 7.5 billion people and 10% of them could die.
To protect our society and people who cannot fight with it, because they often don’t have proper resources. We have to organize ourselves and implement strategies which help us to beat the enemy. Many organizations offer their products, services, people or resources to help hospitals and healthcare workers in any way. A lot of programs updating their features to a new situation. In the last post, we talk about a program which works in South Africa and uses WhatsApp to send communication connected with COVID-19. It is possible because many IT organizations created programs using Principles for Digital Development. There are rules which help developers at every step of creating and programming programs which will be one of the global goods. And thanks to these rules it’s possible to reuse already made programs, adapt them to new functionality and transfer to a wide group of people.
A successful response to Coronavirus
There are also 3 other programs which with success response to Coronavirus. Each of these programs from decades gathers experience and knowledge in outbreaks of diseases like Coronavirus. They collaborate with governments and collect experience in emergency response in different sectors.
mHero in the action
First of them is mHero which was created by Unicef and IntraHealth in 2014 as a response for Ebola outbreak in Liberia. mHero is a communication platform which allows communicating in both ways. It connects ministries of health (government) with health workers even in the most remote areas. Its goal is to offer information from first-line in the real-time and exchange it with ministries. Fast, informative communication is unnecessary during outbreaks. Precise reporting from first-line staff shorten decision way so they can be made earlier. It also engages communities in helping, in giving quality information and mitigating public health threats.
Liberia’s government has adopted mHero to use it with COVID-19 cases and send messages connected with Coronavirus. The program allows sending messages to health workers so they can respond faster. The program is also part of the country’s response to the pandemic and it works really well. By this example, we could see why it is so important to own an official digital health system in epidemic disease response.
Another thing is answering the most frequent questions about COVID-19, quarantine and all situation on the world. So Preakelt.Org created COVID-19 Connect which delivers automated informational messages to citizens in South Africa. The technology was launch on Sunday night and since that, it sent over 15 million messages using WHO information to over 1.5 million Africans. Also WHO decided to launch a global COVID-19 WhatsApp service (also build on Turn.io) to provide the latest news and information about the pandemic to over 2 billion people. Information includes the latest reports, information on prevention, symptoms, treatment, risks, travelling, testing and a number of infected people in real-time. The app made by Preakelt.Org is already adopted at scale and with innovations in an emergency response.
Popular EMR answers
Maybe not the last successful technology, but the last about we know is a new application in CommCare. Dimagi built a free template application which fully implements the WHO protocol for contact and case investigation to support the deployment of COVID-19 response. More than 200 organizations get it in the first 24h hours after release. The company plans to update it with new 7 languages. Program in its simplicity shows how flexible functionality from open-source allows governments to adapt solutions to the local context in the situation of a pandemic. What’s more Dimagi is giving pro bono subscriptions for COVID-19 app in CommCare to all through May 2021.
Here you find more digital health technologies which help to the fight with Coronavirus. If you need a technology/program for prevention, diagnosis, treatment or something different you’ll find it there. ICTWorks also prepare a list of more than 60 programs which were created as a response to Coronavirus. Check them out.
I hope that soon I could tell you about more successful programs or responses for COVID-19. If you are interested in how digital goods help in fighting with Coronavirus look at ICTWork’s page where you find a lot of stuff and articles. I really encourage to take part in actions which unite in one case. Read also our latest post about a general response to COVID-19 around the world. Wash your hands, stay at home and educate!