Modernization has resulted in great technological advancements throughout the years. It has made day-to-day activities easier, accessible, and safer for everyone to enjoy. Recently, technology has also played a key role in empowering people in their fight against COVID-19.
Ever since the Philippines fell to its knees in March of last year following community quarantines imposed as a safety precaution in different parts of the country, Filipinos have struggled to fully understand the danger and severity of the virus behind the current global pandemic.
Although the light at the end of the tunnel still seems far away for the Philippines, science and health experts have turned to technology to support their mission to educate citizens in the battle against the virus.
The literal ‘mobility’ of medical help
With hospitals all over the country at full capacity due to the overcrowding of patients, the country needed an alternative to providing aid and consultation to worried citizens at home. And with the threat of the virus looming above their heads, people are taking every extra step to secure their health to avoid contracting the disease.
KonsultaMD, a health tech service provided by Globe to give Filipinos access to doctor consultation in the comfort of their own homes, hopes to bring a solution to this pressing concern.
Although the service has been used solely for consultation and check-ups in the past, it has done a great deal in helping the country and its people since the beginning of the pandemic.
In August of last year, doctors were unable to travel to different cities due to existing lockdown protocols. This gave rise to the relationship of local government units with KonsultaMD.
“Telehealth is more relevant now more than ever. People need access to doctors, telehealth provides that even to remote areas where no doctors are present. You can consult a KonsultaMD doctor anytime, anywhere thru voice or video,” said Cholo Tagaysay, KonsultaMD’s COO in a webinar held last August 26.
LGUs struggling to help provide care to their sick citizens can turn to KonsultaMD if their constituents need medical help.
Another technological help the country has enjoyed thus far is an application that can potentially prevent a “super spreader” to enter public institutions.
Staysafe.PH is a mobile app that monitors people entering grocery malls, public places, or offices. Launched in April last year, the app has done its fair share of monitoring the COVID-19 virus in the Philippines.
The app helps the Department of Health’s efforts in contact tracing. It is also heavily required in public establishments where people walk in every day.
Staysafe uses an interface that reports whether a person is sick or not based on their temperature. The temperature checks on entrances of establishments are needed for users to report on the app, thus helping DOH’s reporting system.
While mobile help and COVID prevention have helped the country, technology has also helped more interactively.
The internet as a tool against COVID-19
GMA Public Affairs has taken advantage of technology and has used it to promote the number one weapon Filipinos have against the dreaded virus: vaccination.
Launching their online campaign #JabWellDone, the news outlet has sought Filipino netizens to encourage people who are still hesitant about vaccines.
Since its launch in April, the campaign garnered mentions from over eight million users on Facebook in the first week alone. This effort has helped the Philippines gain more believers in what could be our biggest weapon for herd immunity in the country.
And speaking of herd immunity, a Twitter user has helped netizens find out our medical standing and how far we are from reaching herd immunity.
Twitter account @HerdImmunityPH notifies Twitter users weekly on the percentage of vaccinated people in the country. The account takes its data from the DOH, NTF, and PSA.
Their accuracy reportage of vaccine outreach can potentially encourage Filipinos to get vaccinated the soonest to reach the expected time frame for herd immunity faster.
According to their most recent report from August 15, the Philippines have over 11.05 percent of fully vaccinated people, while over 13.15 percent have been inoculated with a first dose.
Their latest estimation for herd immunity points to March of next year. But with technology’s help and vaccine rollouts increasing, the country may be inching a bit closer to that objective.
With the internet as an available resource that the public can leverage against the pandemic and the concerns it raises, LGUs and private institutions can continue to develop new platforms and campaigns to raise the Filipinos’ defenses when it comes to the COVID-19 pandemic.
And in a world where the internet has become prevalent in everyone’s lives, proper dissemination of information through campaigns and apps can raise the level of public awareness which could boost the chances of them rising above the current situation.