THE Aga Khan Health Service (AKHS), in collaboration with Aga Khan University (AKU), have launched a new mobile app for self-screening to enable Tanzanians easily and safely detect Covid-19 symptoms and take precautions.
Making the revelation in Dar es Salaam, the Hospital’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Mr Sisawo Konteh said the app has been developed by the Digital Health Resource Centre at the institution’s Development Network in efforts to support the government fight the disease locally.
“The biggest part of Covid- 19 pandemic challenge is to change the way we think about the disease. With this app, you can quickly detect your symptoms by self-testing and report the findings for medical attention without fear and anxiety,” he added.
Mr Konteh further noted that the app uses an interactive chatbot driven by Artificial Intelligence that allows users to detect their symptoms and seek help in a timely manner, adding that it can be downloaded freely without any charge.
The CEO said they developed the machine to assist the government easily identify potential Coronavirus carriers and limit transmission risks.
Hinting that the app can also be useful in national helplines, he said it is easily available for study reference(s) as adopted from the Alberta Health Services and modified to meet the local context and evolving epidemiology of diseases’ researches.
Developing it involved the technological expertise that was provided by AKU’s Technology Innovation Support Centre (TISC).
On his part, AKU’s Technology Innovation Support Centre Director, Saleem Sayani, said coronavirus check and testing would provide an opportunity, where the disease as a burden in health system would be reduced.
Initial findings suggest that 19 percent of its users require immediate testing and medical assistance.
“This leads to a considerable decrease in the number of visits to health facilities and ensures that critical resources such as testing kits and health workers’ time are allocated elsewhere where they are most needed,” he pointed out.
He said instant Covid-19 test with the app reduces myths and misconceptions about the disease in the public as well as the ones circulating in the social media.
Mr Sayani noted that the app includes authentic information on best practices to protect oneself from infection, advice on self-assessment, and precautions as well as guidance on social distancing as recommended by World Health Organisation and National Health Ministry.