QUEZON CITY (April 9, 2020) – The government’s battle against COVID-19 has gone online.
This, as the National Task Force (NTF) against COVID-19 and Multisys Technologies Corporation, inked a Memorandum of Agreement (MOU) on Wednesday to officially launch an online emergency response system that will help curb the spread of the virus.
Multisys, a Manila-based developer, created a website and a mobile application called StaySafe.ph which encourages people to report their health condition as well as those of their family members.
Protecting users’ privacy
But the beauty of this web and mobile-based application lies in its privacy feature, as users do not have to go to the hospital and disclose sensitive information when registering in the StaySafe.ph website or mobile application.
Multisys Founder and Chief Executive Officer David L. Almirol Jr. said the company made sure to comply with the Data Privacy Act when it was developing the online platform.
“We are not asking for the birthdate because if you capture the birthdate, you are [violating] the data privacy, but we capture the age so we are not violating the data privacy,” Almirol said.
During the online registration process, users will be asked if they are feeling any of the COVID-19 symptoms such as fever, cough, fatigue, muscle pain, runny nose, sore throat, shortness of breath, and diarrhea.
Once the user provides these information, the Staysafe.ph platform will generate a result indicating mild, moderate or severe depending on the number of symptoms he or she is experiencing.
The data will then be sent to a “heat map” in the platform’s admin dashboard which will then show the areas and the number of people exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms.
Boost to frontliners
The online platform was designed to help medical frontliners, local government units, private companies as well as the national government monitor the health condition of residents and conduct more efficient contact tracing.
Staysafe.ph also feautures a dashboard where users can keep themselves updated on COVID-19 cases not only in the Philippine but all over the world.
Frontliners, local government units and private companies will be given access to the admin dashboard to help them keep track of the number of confirmed cases, persons under investigation and monitoring, deaths, recovered patients, and the location of these patients.
Moreover, frontliners will receive alerts from the system, allowing them to immediately respond to severe COVID-19 cases, and provide direct online consultations to patients.
At the same time, the online platform will also allow private companies to identify employees who need help and provide them with assistance.
Under the MOA, the NTF shall provide the necessary information and operational support, while Multisys shall be responsible for the “development and technical management of the system StaySafe.ph.”
According to Almirol, Multisys developed the StaySafe.ph at no cost to the national government.
“Willing po kaming makipagtulungan sa government. This is no longer a business. This is helping each other,” he said.
A powerful tool
National Security Adviser Hermogenes C. Esperon Jr. highlighted the importance of the online platform and how it can be used as an invaluable tool in fighting COVID-19.
“This system as we have seen can serve as [a] monitoring [for] of all communities. As we have seen, it could do segregation of persons under investigations, it could also do a lot of things that have been enumerated,” Hermogenes said during the MOA signing.
“Today we are here and this is already operational. Let’s use it as much as we can lalo na sa local governments, thank you very much,” he added.
For his part, Secretary of National Defense Delfin N. Lorenza thanked Almirol’s company for developing the online platforms for free, saying, “I would like to thank him (Almirol)for his generous donation,” he said.
Presidential Peace Adviser and NTF Chief Implementer Carlito G. Galvez Jr. also extended his gratitude to Almirol for creating the system, as he encouraged Filipinos to support the government’s efforts against COVID-19.
“I am grateful to Mr. Almirol and his team for taking the time to develop these very useful platforms, and for offering it for free. You are doing a huge favor for all Filipinos during this time of crisis,” Galvez said.
“We encourage everyone to help in whatever way you can. This is a fight wherein all of us will have to be part of. Through your support and cooperation, we will surpass this crisis, and we shall heal as one,” he said. ###