Wednesday, 01 April 2020 02:45

NEC, software developers launch iQuarantine app for COVID-19 reporting Featured

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ICT services giant NEC has teamed up with software developers in the fight against the COVID-19 virus pandemic, launching a smartphone app - iQuarantine - a mobile check-in and case management system that allows users to report their location and health status numerous times a day.

The smartphone app is for both those in home self-isolation and health professionals in the field to update case information in real-time - helping users track the number of days they have been in self-isolation, and alerting them through a push notification immediately if there is any change to the COVID-19 alert level.

Using NEC’s facial recognition software and push notifications, the iQuarantine smartphone app prompts people to check in numerous times a day, confirming who they are, their location and current health status.

When a user notifies health services they are ‘ok’, an update is automatically made in the iQuarantine Case Management Portal, with secure data storage provided by Amazon Web Services.

“Supported by the advanced artificial technology of Amazon Connect, which includes chat-bots that can ask and answer basic health related questions, iQuarantine can do a lot to ease the pressure on frontline health and emergency services,” says Steven Graham, Head of Innovation and Transformation at NEC Australia-New Zealand.

“iQuarantine is a highly-scalable, crowd-first approach, based on a great mobile-first user experience.”

“We’re all aware of the escalating events around us and the potential impact on Australia’s infrastructure and capacity to deliver healthcare services in particular.

“As this COVID-19 crisis began to unfold, I started working with three organisations to set up a team to run a design and build process to have a solution ready to go before the end of March.

“Thanks to the hard work of our partners at Fronde and Alphero, iQuarantine is now ready to help everyday Australians and New Zealanders work with health services to halt the spread of COVID-19.”

According to Graham by helping Australians and New Zealanders to monitor themselves and providing health information remotely, iQuarantine could significantly reduce the burden on the healthcare infrastructure of both nations.

“We know that the ability to maximise time and resources will be a critical success factor for Community Based Assessment Centres, District Health Boards and Health Ministries, as they grapple with what’s likely to be unprecedented demand on their people and services,” Graham said.

“We want to help health professionals focus first on those in most need, while leaving those who are healthy and/or not affected by COVID-19 to continue to self-monitor.

“One of the biggest risks we face is the prospect of our emergency services and health-related phone lines being overwhelmed.

“Whether they are in the office, clinic, at home or on the road, health service professionals can use our app to gain access and insights that could help them save thousands of lives,” Graham said.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired and is a "volunteer" writer for iTWire. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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