Three local firms have developed a mobile application to support contact tracing efforts by the health officials in efforts to combat the spread of coronavirus.
Through the Linda Application, Kenyans will now be able to know if they are within the vicinity of a person who has tested positive through Bluetooth technology.
Bob Ndubi, Silverhouse Capital Limited’s Managing Partner says once a person downloads the application on their mobile phones, they are required to have their Bluetooth on so that they can receive a buzz cautioning them to maintain social distance.
“We are trying to look at how we can help by becoming part of the solution, and we settled on technology,” he said during a briefing.
He explained that “The people who have been tested and released, their numbers are identified, such that if your Bluetooth is on and theirs is on, any time they get close to you- the Bluetooth vibrates. That is supposed to warn you to keep a distance.”
Through the technology, he said, health officials can also be able to easily trace people who come into contact with a suspected case of coronavirus.
“These names (of people who have either tested positive) will not be put out in the public. The numbers will be captured in a way that we have colour coding on this App,” he said.
One of the partners, Eric Mungai, said once the application is in use, they will rely on government data on coronavirus, a disease that has killed more than 100,000 people across the world.
He said the application is developed in a way that the privacy of people with the disease will be maintained- with its sole purpose being to caution people to maintain social distance – one of the precautionary measures recommended by World Health Organisation.
Through the mobile application, he said, one can also do a virtual test online twice a day.
“Because this is not a medical application, if what you are feeling meets the COVID-19 case criteria, then a doctor or a Ministry of Health official will get in touch to query more,” he said.
“Young people should be at the forefront to make sure we curb this disease.”
“We want to make sure the data is anonymous, but it will be used to alert the next user that in their area, like a hundred metres, there are suspected cases that have not yet been tested,” he pointed out.
“To us, this is just another flower that has been added into the bulky of what other Kenyans are doing, to make sure that we preserve our lives. It is better we preserve life, than mourn the death of a loved one.”