Madrid launches its own app against the coronavirus

The community of Madrid has gone ahead of the government and created, a website promoted by the president of the community, Isabel Díaz Ayuso. This website will be used by the Secretaría Digital del Gobierno (Digital Secretariat of the Government)  and will be extended in the coming weeks to other communities when the app materializes. This website, inspired in the existing one in South Korea, has been created thanks to the support of enterprises such as Carto or Telefonica. The main purpose is to avoid the collapse of the telephone lines of the Community of Madrid.  

This idea has arisen in the middle of the coronavirus crisis’ outbreak, thanks to the “magic of twitter”. A tweet triggered a thread with comments from different users that finally turned into a project of several companies to create an app like the one created in South Korea. In that country, the app has helped to slow the curve of infected people so it could help to contain the Covid-19 in the Community of Madrid. At the moment, it is only a web page but president Ayuso has assured the creation of an app that will be extended at national level and will be able to be used in all the communities of Spain in the next few weeks. 

Basically, what has been launched from the Government is a form, based on the protocols and information handled by the operators of these enabled lines. It is based on symptoms (such as fever, muscle pain, feeling of fatigue or gastrointestinal problems), age and contacts with possible cases. After filling it, the user will receive a result that may differ from the recommendation to contact health authorities or recommendations for weak symptoms. 

When registering as a user in, you are asked to verify your telephone number, as well as to activate the location of your mobile phone or device from which you are accessing. It has a questionnaire of personal data  where you must give your information such as your name, to age, sex and address where you are. The ID card field is optional. It allows you to be diagnosed every 12 hours using the form.  

Currently there won’t be follow-up of each patient’s movements, but that option is not fully discarded. Every time you make a diagnosis, the app saves the location. This location element will be used by local authorities to visualize infections on an interactive map and to perform geospatial analysis and determine the high-risk areas. The presence of some of these companies reinforced the thesis that the project could go towards a solution like the one already mentioned by the South Korean government or Israel. These countries have used tracking tools to monitor the movements of infected people, to detect possible sources of infection prematurely and to geolocate new infections. “This is something that has been discussed a lot. But using GPS and other tracking elements is extremely sensitive, both for people and for regulation”. 

Furthermore, a system to monitor “the evolution of cases in more detail, advising on quarantine areas to determine if they are being complied with” is being considered. This way (the door will not be closed either) there will not be at the moment a functionality designed to monitor the compliance with the quarantine, something that South Korea has done, even informing the agents by phone to fine those who break the lockdown rules. 

Likewise, the case of Catalonia should be highlighted, as several Health areas of the Generalitat, together with private companies, have created an app for the mobile phone, called Stop Covid-19, which will serve to monitor the health condition of citizens affected by the coronavirus. This new tool will serve to monitor the health status of Catalans and will also use this data to see how the epidemic is evolving throughout Catalonia. 

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