We’ve all seen the horror stories that accompanied the recent surge of COVID cases here in the Philippines a few weeks ago. Patients not being able to find vacant beds in any hospital, friends, and relatives having to travel to places as far as Laguna from Manila just to find a hospital with a bed to accommodate them, patients stuck in parking lots in the streets – you know the story by now. Thankfully, a Filipina data scientist based in Australia, Maria Reyes, has developed the Cobeds19 app, a quick and easy way to find available hospital beds for patients who require medical care because of COVID-19.
Cobeds19 app is a simple browser-based app that helps you find a hospital with available COVID beds. The app shows you details such as the hospital’s address and contact number, as well as the current status of available hospital beds. The app took Reyes three weeks to develop with her husband.
If you’re familiar with the community pantry finder, the Cobeds19 app is very similar. It makes use of green and red icons, green meaning available and red the opposite. It also has a colorblind-friendly mode for broader access. Reyes who is an Applied Mathematics graduate from UP told reportr in an interview “This would hopefully lessen having to go from one hospital to the other.”
The OHCC should ideally work as a primary hotline for patients seeking referrals for a hospital that can admit Covid-19 cases. Unfortunately, the sheer number of patients during the surge in April overwhelmed the OHCC, which necessitated the creation of the app.
Take note that the app relies on government data particularly The Department Of Health’s daily Data Drop for updates. Because of this, Reyes is now looking for volunteers who can help keep the status of the beds updated.