Here are five tech tools that can help you find COVID-19 resources faster
It’s National Technology Day – a day that celebrates the achievements of engineers and scientists in science and technology. It was on this day in 1998 that India experienced its breakthrough after successfully testing the Shakti-I nuclear missile at the Pokhran proving ground in Rajasthan.
Thirty years later, we are witnessing technological advancements of a different kind, in the form of tools that help save lives during a deadly global pandemic.
Social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram and WhatsApp have played a central role over the past two weeks in connecting people to the essential resources needed to vigorously fight COVID-19. A lack of proper planning and preparedness on the part of state and central authorities to consolidate health infrastructure, which could have helped to more effectively tackle the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic, resulted in an acute shortage of vital resources, and many citizens have taken to these platforms to find what they need.
From oxygen cylinders, drugs and injections to intensive care hospital beds, people have reached out to strangers on the internet for donation requests, along with verified and up-to-date information on availability.
Of course, tech mavericks in the country have stepped forward to help optimize that social media search, launching all kinds of important search platforms and features that can help cut down on time wasted on social media. search for obsolete leads by giving users the ability to filter by city, resource. required, patient criticality, last information check, etc.
Here are a few tools we saw do the trick:
This website allows users to search for resources by city, specific requirements (like beds, ventilator, medications, food, etc.) and offers a plethora of keyword search options.
For example, if you are looking for tweets that say “verified”, you can click that option and activate the filter. Also, if you would like, for example, to search for beds only in the Bandra district of Mumbai, adding this keyword under the ‘other’ option, those specific tweets can be filtered out.
This Twitter search tool is free.
Participatory website, CoronaHarega landing page displays the most recently used leads that the creators of the platform type in manually, but they have to verify them personally first.
Users who have successfully found what they need from a business can fill out a form on the website to create an entry that can help others. Companies offering essential COVID-19 products such as oxygen cylinders, food, medicine, etc. can also fill in their details to be listed.
The website displays the ‘Last update’ status to direct resource seekers to the most recent information. It also contains a “ remarks ” section where users can mention their experience with the service they have used, as well as use it to warn of any doubts regarding providers.
Use of the website is free.
Covidcitizens is a citizen-led community initiative to facilitate convenient access to current and comprehensive information and support. Its more than 300 volunteers verify and collect pan-Indian information on critical Covid resources such as drugs, oxygen cylinders, beds, blood tests, meal services, plasma, ambulances, and more. .
Users can search for resources by location directly on the website or find information through its WhatsApp bot.
the Introbot WhatsApp, in particular, is a very nifty tool that provides useful leads one at a time – to get a new lead the user is asked to give their opinion on the previous lead by choosing from options such as “useful”, “insensitive”, “out of stock” and “invalid”, which makes it possible to constantly update the information repository.
To get started, users should send a “COVID” message to + 1-234-517-8991, which is the number of the WhatsApp bot.
The platform claims to have responded to more than 3.5 lakh medical requests related to Covid and has helped save more than 20,000 lives through a reliable real-time database of more than 18,000 medical providers.
Developed by four Delhi-based Samaritans, this participatory website helps users find resources by state and city. Its most useful feature is the “ status ” column where users can update if the list they contacted through the platform still has resources – handy for anyone who sees the next page. Suppliers can list themselves and update availability as well.
To eliminate incorrect entries and lists with wrong numbers, the creators of the platform, led by IIT-Kanpur graduate and former IAS leader Sanjeev Gupta, created an OTP verification system and revamped interface.
However, its “plasma” resource function does not have too many entries, and those listed must be independently verified. But since the platform launched just a few days ago, development and data accumulation is still ongoing.
Mission MillionAir is a WhatsApp bot, launched by start of the conversational AI Verloop.io. He helps people get hold of oxygen concentrators by connecting patients or caregivers with providers.
People wishing to use the service should send a “hello” to a WhatsApp number: + 91-8047-10-7750.
The robot can also help people search for drugs and match patients with plasma donors. The founder and CEO of Verloop.io, the developers of the bot, recently said in a press post that a dedicated team manages WhatsApp chat at all times to ensure that no request goes unanswered.