New online technologies developed by Filipino researchers and students help monitor COVID-19 cases in the Philippines

March 30, 2020 - 1:49 PM
An app to check your risk status for free and a user-friendly online tracker developed by Filipino students and researchers (Unsplash/Rob Hampson)

A mobile app and an extensive information hub were recently developed by Filipino researchers and students as the country continues its fight against the novel coronavirus outbreak.

A team from the University of the Philippines released an online tracker of the COVID-19 situation in the country while the students of the Asian Institute of Management developed an application that provides a free medical assessment to its users.

These innovations were rolled out amid the surge in the number of confirmed cases in the country which now totals to 1,418. There are also 71 deaths and 42 recovered individuals.

A user-friendly info hub

Teodoro Herbosa, the executive vice president of UP, announced the new one-stop COVID-19 website called on social media.

“Very clear, easy to understand. sections: Dashboard View, Map View, Cases, Hospitals, and ISKOnsult (a COVID-19 Symptom Checker),” Herbosa said.

It was developed by the UP Resilience Institute, a proactive center for climate change mitigation and adaptation, and the UP Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards (NOAH) which was headed by Filipino scientist Dr. Mahar Lagmay.

The link directs online users to the dashboard that contains similar numerical data as the tracker of the Department of Health—the total number of confirmed cases, persons under investigation, persons under monitoring, deaths and recovered patients.

Screenshot by Interaksyon

However, it differs on how the figures are presented.

The DOH’s tracker has all the information lumped in one interface. The interactive map of the cases also appeared to be the page’s focal feature.

Screenshot by Interaksyon, on the other hand, presented them in two ways—the dashboard view mentioned earlier and the map view where users can see the locations of the cases. The map view also has a color code relative to the number of cases found in that area.

Another feature of this innovation are the pages that showed organized details about the cases, the hospitals where they are currently confined in and a symptom checker called “ISKOnsult.”

Moreover, it also compiled all the guidelines related to COVID-19 and attached links to the websites of the health department, the World Health Organization and other related agencies.

An app that checks your symptoms

Students of AIM’s Master of Science in Innovation and Business program similarly created an app called ENDCoV, where users can assess if they should be tested for the new pathogen or not at the comfort of their homes.

Screenshot by Interaksyon

According to app’s description in Google Play, the app developer team hopes to “empower the regular Filipino to participate and contribute to our nation’s fight against COVID-19.”

The app is also compliant with the policies and issuance of the Inter-Agency Task Force, the Office of the President, the Mandatory Disclosure of Notifiable Diseases Act and the Data Privacy Act.

“Filipinos are the best in the world in forming online social connections. Let’s put it to good use!” part of the description read.

To use the app, users have to sign up and answer a survey based on DOH’s approved triage algorithm that assesses patients to be tested of COVID-19.

The app, unfortunately, had so far received negative feedback due to technical issues.