Madrid launches its own app against the coronavirus

The Region of Madrid is one step ahead of the Government in the creation of, a website promoted by the regional President Isabel Díaz Ayuso. The website will be used by the General Secretariat for Digital Administration and once the app development is completed in the coming weeks, its implementation will be extended to other regions. The South Korean strategy has served as inspiration for the development of, also thanks to the support of companies such as Carto and Telefónica. The website’s main objective is to avoid the service phone lines collapse within the Region of Madrid. 

The idea emerged amid the outbreak of the coronavirus crisis as a result of “the magic of Twitter” when a thread with comments from different users was finally consolidated into a joint project. The purpose was to create an app similar to the one developed by South Korea, which has helped to stop the curve of their infected population, to help contain covid-19 in the Region of Madrid. It is only a website at the moment, but President Ayuso has ensured the creation of an app in the coming weeks that will be broaden its application to a national level and can be used in all Spanish regions. 

The website requires to fill in a form with the same information that is requested upon calling dedicated service lines. These are based on age, contact with possible cases and symptoms such as fever, muscle pain, fatigue, and gastrointestinal problems. Upon completion, the user will receive a result stating to contact the health authorities or recommendations for mild symptoms

At the time of self-registering, the website requests a phone number to verify the user, as well as to activate the geolocation. Then, the user must proceed to fill in the form with personal data (name, age, gender, and address). Entering an ID number is optional. Self-diagnose can be done every 12 hours.  

For now, users’ movements will not be tracked, although that is not completely ruled out. The app saves the location every time a self-diagnose is completed. The geolocation element will help local authorities to visualize infections on an interactive map and to perform geospatial analysis in order to determine high-risk areas. The participation of companies such as Carto or Telefónica reinforced the idea of the project becoming a successful tool to monitor the movements of the infected population, to detect possible early-stage outbreaks, and to geolocate new infections. “This is something that has been talked about a lot. However, using GPS and other location tools is an extremely sensitive topic due to its implications for the people and its regulation.” 

system to monitor in detail “the evolution of infection cases has also been considered.” For the time being, a tool to determine if quarantine restrictions are being complied has not been discussed, unlike in South Korea, where agents are informed through their phones if someone is breaking the mobility restrictions. 

In the case of Catalonia, several healthcare zones have created an app called Stop Covid-19 in alliance with private companies. This app allows to monitor the health condition of residents infected with the virus within the region. The data collected also allows to track the evolution of the pandemic throughout Catalonia. 

Source: El Confidencial  

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