The world’s battle against the Novel Coronavirus pandemic has seen heavy reliance on technology. From governments, healthcare organizations, non-profits to private enterprises, almost everyone is using technology in some form or the other to beat this “unknown enemy”. India, the second most populated country in the world, is no exception — both central and state governments, along with private players, have built several mobile apps to respond to the pandemic, limit cases and assist people with managing health, day-to-day requirements and other essential needs.
Here is a list of the top apps that are helping India tide over the COVID-19 crises.
Apart from warning users if they come in proximity of someone who has tested positive for Covid-19 and providing tips on preventive measures, the Aarogya Setu app, developed by the Government of India, connects people with essential health services. The app was launched on April 2, and it relies primarily on location data generated through GPS and Bluetooth to trace the places where the user visited. After cross-referencing this information with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) data on positive cases, the app alerts a user if he/she has/is likely to cross paths with an infected person.
After downloading the app, a person can also check for himself whether he/she has COVID-19 like symptoms, and based on that can then find out about the nearest health facility. The mobile app has so far been downloaded more than 10 million times and has been actively promoted by the Indian Government.
COVID 19 Feedback
This app has been developed by the Indian Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology. The COVID 19 Feedback app has been designed to act like a survey tool to gather information from users about any treatment or tests they may have undergone in the recent past. Through this data, the government is working on identifying the worst-affected areas and enhancing testing facilities.
After downloading the app, a user has to provide his/her basic details such as name, address and place of work, followed by details about recent medical history. The app asks for permission to access the phone’s media and has a separate section for feedback to improve performance/experience.
This Government of India app was designed to act as a citizen engagement platform for direct citizen participation in governance. Through the app, the citizens could share their ideas, comments and creative suggestions with the central ministries and associated organizations. In the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, the government has introduced a new section on the MyGov app.
On opening the app for the first time, users can select theCOVID-19 section to find out the latest figures concerning the pandemic, apart from important helpline numbers and email addresses to reach out to authorities in case of an emergency. The app also provides other relevant information and official advisories concerning the Novel Coronavirus.
India’s national mapping agency, Survey of India, has developed the SAHYOG app, which will complement Aarogya Setu to meet contact tracing, public awareness and self-assessment objectives. The app collates data collected at the state level and geo-tags it so that the mapping agency can analyze this information as the database grows.
The main objective behind launching this app is to help the government improve its response system. The app will work as a key tool in helping community workers carry out door-to-door surveys, contact tracing, deliveries of essentials items and focused public awareness campaigns.
COVID-19 Quarantine Monitor — Tamil Nadu
The Tamil Nadu state government, in partnership with a private player, hasdeveloped the COVID-19 Quarantine Monitor to ensure that citizens under home quarantinedon’t violateofficial guidelines. A person needs to have a Tamil Nadu-registered mobile number to use this app.
According to the developers, the app is meant specifically for quarantined patients. Once installed, it enables live location tracking via GPS and generates alerts and information.
The Corona Virus Alert App (COVA) has been designed and developed by the Government of Punjab to provide citizens with preventive care information and other government advisories. This comprehensive app also helps the user generate a curfew pass, along with other important details. It provides the government with a platform to share orders and travel instructions.
On opening the app, the user has to sign up for an account through an OTP. The home page is user-friendly with a Punjab real-time counter showing how many have been tested and how many are confirmed COVID-19 positive. The recovered, deaths, result awaited, result negative, home quarantined and hospital quarantined list is also available. The corona stats for India and the World are also provided. Users can check their health status, and find out the distance between them and the nearest patient. The users can also connect with doctors, hospitals, request essentials and report mass gathering cases by using this app.
Test Yourself Goa
The Test Yourself Goa app is developed by Goa Ministry of Health in collaboration with Innovaccer. The app is currently available on Google Play, but Apple customers have to wait. It states that users can self-diagnose COVID-19 symptoms after downloading the app. Test Yourself Goa was India’s first automated self-evaluation assessment to tackle the virus.
The app asks for basic user information including name, number, zip code and residency status. Like other apps, a survey follows and depending on the answers, it notifies the users whether they have the symptoms or not. It also gives advice on how to self-quarantine, social distancing, use of masks, etc., along with management videos. The app further provides important numbers and a list of nearby health centres and doctors.