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COVID-19 WATCH

Contact tracing mobile app helps frontliners battle COVID-19

Komfie Manalo

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Boosting contact tracing capabilities ensures faster identification of possible COVID-19 patients that could spell a big difference in the fight against the pandemic.

Frontliners have a new navigational tool that allows them faster and reliable contact tracing capability in the fight against the dreaded coronavirus 2019 disease (COVID-19).

The Philippine Red Cross has teamed up with Globe to keep health workers stay informed in these crucial times in ensuring the safety of Filipino citizens and in helping frontliners contain the spread of COVID-19 in the country. The RC143 is a contact tracing mobile app created by Red Cross that can help medical frontliners identify possible patients and help users track their levels of exposure to the virus.

“Through this partnership, we aim to empower mobile users to take a more active part in aiding frontliners and PRC’s command centers by being more proactive and cautious towards their own safety,” said Albert de Larrazabal, Chief Commercial Officer at Globe.

RC143 is a navigational tool that uses Bluetooth and GPS to trace contact events between users. Through the app’s unique contact tracing feature, users can assess their risk level of contracting the virus as well as get in touch with Red Cross representatives to know more about COVID-19 and for medical assistance.

With users’ consent, the app periodically gathers information through phones’ wireless capabilities, layered with location data and other sensory capabilities of the modern smartphone. This allows Red Cross personnel to notify users if they may have had direct or indirect contact with a COVID-19 positive patient.

The app also has a feature that helps users navigate away from high risk areas, guided by constant monitoring by Red Cross personnel and Artificial Intelligence (AI). This could prove extremely useful for Filipinos who need to leave their homes for work or for other necessities such as buying food.

To maximize RC143’s capabilities, Globe  through Globe Labs is enabling mobile services such as SMS alerts and app advisories to support Red Cross’ communications. This shall allow the organization to update and coordinate with users more efficiently, as well as to make accounts authentication and verification more convenient for users.

Any resident of the Philippines with an active Philippine mobile number can use RC143. Users can download the app for free at the Google Play Store. The app is currently only available for Android users (version 6.0 and above) and will be made available for iOS soon. More information on the use of RC143 can be found at https://rc143.voxptech.com/faq.

To stay updated on the latest COVID-19 developments, Globe mobile and broadband customers are also given free access to the official websites of the Department of Health (DOH) and National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC).

 

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