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GROUP OF IT SPECIALISTS CREATE THE MEDCAST CHATBOT – A DIGITAL SOLUTION FOR THE PRE-DIAGNOSIS OF COVID-19
April 10, 2020 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Innovative IT solutions can help reduce COVID-19 illnesses. A group of volunteers and experts in the IT sector have developed an online application called the Medcast chatbot, which fulfills several functions in the format of telemedicine and is intended for human health care, by monitoring potential symptoms of illness. Moreover, the online solution contains useful information about quarantine conditions, advice on personal care and housing and also offers users the opportunity to notify their family doctor if they suspect that they have specific symptoms of COVID-19.
The online application was developed by a working group that included nine IT specialists, but also representatives of the Ministry of Health, Labor and Social Protection, doctors, and professors from the medical departments of universities. The chatbot was also developed with the support of the Tekwill Project which contributes to creating opportunities for entrepreneurship development in Moldova, including facilitating access to resources and creating necessary connections. The idea for the project came after the “Hack the Virus” hackathon in March, where several solutions to combat COVID-19 were identified.
Ana Chirița, director of TEKWILL Project stated, “Our goal is to seek for ways to reduce and even solve problems through information technologies. After participating in the organization of the online hackathon “Hack the Virus”, where representatives of the medical sector were involved, we understood that the most appropriate solutions are those for prevention and pre-diagnosis. Thus, after the hackathon, a team of developers launched this product – the result of several meetings with representatives of the health sector, and together with them developed this chatbot format – the most suitable for the needs of the population. In this regard, TEKWILL Project will continue to encourage entrepreneurs to create appropriate technical solutions, using state-of-the-art information technologies.”
The group of IT volunteers include:
- Valentin Bragaru – System Architect & Team Lead
- Liudmila Balica – Content Manager
- Tudor Bostan – Full Stack Developer
- Danu Rosca – Frontend Developer
- Evgheni Cernev – Full Stack Developer
- Roman Visit – Full Stack Developer
- Vasile Staver – UI / UX Designer
- Andrei Botezatu – Craw Specialist (Crawless)
- Alexandru Habasescu – Backend Developer
Valentin Bragaru, System Architect & Team Lead stated, “It is everyone’s duty to get involved, within their own set of competencies, to help reduce the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. That is why, together with the team, we decided to develop the Medcast Chatbot – an online application that can be easily used by anyone, especially because most people use the Viber and Telegram platforms daily for communication. Formulas for diagnosing COVID-19 symptoms are approved by the Ministry of Health, therefore, the application is an extremely useful tool for doctors fighting on the front lines, but also for local authorities, and this way we could identify certain cases of disease in advance. We want the chatbot to be used by as many people as possible, and thus, to reduce the number of illnesses.”
The purpose of the Medcast chatbot is to help users make a pre-diagnosis and to monitor their symptoms if they are under monitoring with the reporting of data to the family doctor. Additionally, it also provides useful information regarding the rules imposed during the state of emergency and quarantine.
The Medcast chatbot is available for Viber and Telegram applications, and it will soon be available for use on Facebook.
The application has the following functions:
- Pre-diagnosis of COVID-19 which is performed by the chatbot in accordance with the protocol of the Ministry of Health. Thus, users must answer 18 questions about their personal health;
- Reporting the results to their family doctor which are possible after a user registers on the platform;
- If the condition of one of the users who shows symptoms related to COVID-19 suddenly worsens the application offers the possibility of immediate reporting to the 112 service;
- If after the pre-diagnosis a high risk of infection is identified, then the user will receive alert messages once every 2 hours to report their temperature, headache, coughing or sneezing and other symptoms;
- Information on the quarantine and self-isolation regime in the context of the pandemic;
- Contact information for family physician centers across the country, including addresses and telephone numbers;
- Information on the official statistics of the number of patients with COVID-19 in the Republic of Moldova, including the districts in the region but also globally.
This IT solution is also functional for the representatives of the health system, who after registering online on behalf of their professional status, can collect information from the patients under monitoring and download the reports on patients’ health.
About the Tekwill Project
The Tekwill project is implemented by the National Association of ICT Companies with the financial support of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Sweden. Tekwill was created in 2017 as a Center of Excellence of the ICT sector in Moldova, with the main purpose of aligning the field with current market requirements. Aiming to contribute to increasing the competitiveness of the IT industry and other strategic sectors of the economy, the center has expanded its fields of activity, becoming in 2019 a complex nationwide project. The basic objective of the Tekwill Project, as a platform dedicated to the progress of the IT sector, is to ensure a major impact on the economic development of the country by improving the entrepreneurial and educational capacities of society, but also by increasing the research and development potential of education, in line with the demand in the IT market.