The Aga Khan University has launched a mobile application that enables Pakistanis to easily and safely evaluate coronavirus symptoms with an in-home screening tool and understand the next steps to look after themselves.
CoronaCheck uses an interactive chatbot, driven by artificial intelligence, which allows users to understand their symptoms, recognise whether they may have contracted COVID-19 and seek help in a timely manner.
It also aims to identify potential coronavirus carriers, limit their risk of transmission and to list the national helplines available.
The app will help reduce the need for patients to visit hospitals and ease the burden on the healthcare system, ensuring care for those most in need.
The clinical faculty of the Aga Khan University Hospital advised on the screening algorithm, while the AKU’s Technology Innovation Support Centre provided the technological expertise for the app.
“Coronavirus has placed the country’s healthcare system under tremendous strain with frontline healthcare professionals already working around the clock,” said Saleem Sayani, director of AKU’s TISC.
“Through this app, we hope to share useful tips that can prevent new cases and provide reassurance to worried citizens during a time of widespread concern.”
The tool has been adopted from the Alberta Health Services and modified to meet the local context and the evolving epidemiology of the disease.
CoronaCheck also seeks to tackle myths and misconceptions by featuring educational videos in Urdu language, and combat the increasing amount of unverified information circulating on social media platforms.
It also includes authentic information on best practices to protect oneself from infection and advice on self-assessment.
The app also includes precautions and guidance on physical distancing recommended by the World Health Organisation and the national health ministry.
CoronaCheck can be downloaded from the Google Play Store: https://play.google.com/store/apps/detailsid=com.edu.aku.akuhccheck