Mobile apps that can assist in the fight against COVID-19

Everyone has a set of go-to apps on their phones. In the times of the current crisis, brought on by the covid-19 pandemic, many new apps would have been added to that list.

It can be anything from an online multi-player game to break the monotony or a food delivery app that is listing all the active grocery stores in a neighborhood.

Here are some apps that can help keep tab on all covid-19 related updates including the spike in cases, information on emerging hotspots, and location of closest testing and treatment facilities. Some of these also allow donation of funds as well as commit one’s smartphone for covid-19 research.

MapMyIndia Move, available on Android, iOS

MapMyIndia has created a covid-19 dashboard where one can keep an eye on the total number of cases in India based on input from ministry of health and family welfare. The dashboard also provides state-wise data, along with details on treatments centres, isolations centres, hunger relief centres and relief camps for migrant workers with the location on the map. The app also has an option where users can report issues like lapses in law enforcement or violation of lockdown for perusal of government and local authorities.

Arogya Setu, available on Android:

A Government of India initiative, Arogya Setu is designed to assist citizens by helping them find if they have been in contact with an infected person. The app uses GPS and Bluetooth on a smartphone to create a social graph. Based on that, it can tell if an asymptomatic person has crossed path with someone who has been infected with covid-19. If that happens, the asymptomatic person will get an alert followed by instructions on self isolation. To take advantage of it, users need to keep Bluetooth switched-on and enable location sharing on the smartphone.

MyGov, available on Android, iOS:

Misinformation about covid-19 is rampant. With the MyGov app people can keep track of the official number of cases in India. Available in Hindi and English, the app constantly shows the number of active cases, discharged cases and deaths. The app has informative features like myth busters, a shortcut page for PM-Cares fund with bank account details for people to donate money. In case one has a solution that can assist in the fight against covid-19, it can be submitted for the Safe India Hackathon through the app.

BOINC, available on Android:

For users who don’t want to stop at just donating for PM-Cares and other similar funds, UC Berkeley’s Rosetta@home project is worth trying out. Available through BOINC app on Android devices, this distributed computing project allows anyone to contribute the computing power of their PCs and smartphones to speed up research on Coronavirus and find a vaccine. BOINC will only use the phone’s CPU and GPU during downtime, when they are not being utilised.

Practo, available on Android, iOS

With private labs now allowed to test for covid-19, telemedicine platform Practo has started offering online booking options. The tests will be carried out by diagnostic firm Thyrocare which will send a certified phlebotomist to collect samples directly from home. Testing request will only get approved on submissions of a valid doctor’s prescription, duly filled test requisition form signed by the physician and a photo ID card. The app also provides the option to consult a doctor through chats.