More than 80,000 South Africans have been tested for the coronavirus, and, while this figure is encouraging, the sobering realisation for many is that the spread of the virus remains inevitable.
It is also important for business leaders to think about their employees’ health in relation to Covid-19 once the lockdown is lifted.
Devon Solomon, a project leader for the CoronaFighter initiative, believes real-time, self-monitoring medical technologies are one way to help relieve some of the pressure on the healthcare system.
An app to keep the workplaces and the community safe
help us #flattenthecurve together! The #CoronaFighter app is available to all South Africans to help us prevent the spread, monitor cases and alleviate pressure on our medical response teams. Join the cause and do the screening now! https://t.co/rWiCLa5uQu pic.twitter.com/wZLVzwSTOz— Paul van Zyl (@pushplaybang) April 6, 2020
“Our employees and communities are looking to us to lead them through this pandemic.”
Innovative medical technologies such as the CoronaFighter web-based app are providing screening tools and support on a large scale so people can stay safer.
“We need to start planning now as the need amplifies for healthcare and health monitoring for our workforce.”Devon Solomon
“While we are all appreciative that our circumstances seem to be improving, we have a long road ahead and the business community at large should start to plan for a future beyond the extended lockdown that prioritises and monitors the safety of their businesses and the staff that propel them forward.” Solomon says.
Because of the rapid spread of the virus and a global shortage of testing kits, self-monitoring has become very important and is likely to become even more when everyone starts returning to work.
A tool like CoronaFighter is easily accessible and helps people take responsibility for monitoring their own health, and that of their families and communities.
Sports physician, Dr Jarred Van Zuydam, is a team doctor on the CoronaFighter initiative.
The CoronaFighter platform was initiated, created and developed by Van Zuydam and Dr Rick Diesel from InsightFit, and teams at Sigma Digital and Lead Robot.
Accelerating the CoronaFighter App
Given the urgency of the coronavirus situation more than 30 volunteers from the Civitas founder network and Knife Capital’s Grindstone network helped build the app in just one week.
Van Zuydam believes every citizen must take some responsibility for monitoring their health, and every business must ensure their staff stay healthy and protected.
“If we are not able to monitor our population efficiently, we risk re-spreading the infection and undoing any gains made through the lockdown.”Dr Jarred Van Zuydam
A co-operative relationship between the private and public sector to efficiently manage medical resources will be needed, Dr Van Zuydam emphasises.
Easing the burden on Hospitals
CoronaFighter allows people to identify the earliest possible indication of symptoms consistent with Covid-19 and directs them to appropriate healthcare without putting more strain on the medical system.
More than 3,500 South Africans have used and shared the symptom screener.
The CoronaFighter team have worked around the clock to extend the reach of the app by partnering with businesses and medical organisations to deploy it as a self-monitoring mechanism in more communities.
Solomon says: “The nature of the virus means every poorly managed infection puts an entire community at risk.
“CoronaFighter provides accurate, consistent and unbiased advice to its users.”
Because it is able to collect and directly share data with top researchers, it can become a vital part of the long-term solution in the fight against this virus.
The creators hope that, through the widespread adoption of this technology, a relationship can be fostered in which the government can trust the private sector to return to work safely.
Join the #caronafight and help us #flattenthecurve together! The CoronaFighter app is available to all South Africans to help us prevent the spread, monitor cases and alleviate pressure on our medical response teams. Join the cause and do the screening now! #coronafighter pic.twitter.com/mZpNLmtKMo— firstname.lastname@example.org (@CoronaFighterSA) April 5, 2020
To help flatten the curve of the virus in South Africa, businesses and communities are encouraged to visit www.testforcovid.co.za and @testforcovid on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. To partner, volunteer time and skills ,or to donate to this cause e-mail email@example.com.