With the rise in Covid infections, patients are facing acute problems in finding hospital beds, oxygen cylinders, medicines, and other resources in Hyderabad.
The hospitals are full, pharmacies do not have critical care drugs like remdesivir or Fabiflu tablets and oxygen cylinders are black-marketed and sold at 40 to 50 per cent higher than the normal market rate.
Keeping the city’s morale up are service-minded citizen groups who took upon themselves the responsibility to help the needy patients. Among such are Vensy Krishna, Medha Kadri, and Abhishek Anirudhan, who jointly designed a web application (compatible with Android, iOS, and web) where information about resources for Covid patients can be accessed.
Titled ‘Hyderabad Covid Resources’ (hydCOVIDresources.com), it carries a team of over 50 volunteers, who verify collected information before updating the application every 30 minutes.
Vensy said, “My mom fell sick with Covid19 last week. Finding hospital beds became impossible. Fortunately, she was cured at home. There are many who have lost their lives due lack of access to information and health care resources. So, I looked at ways to connect Hyderabadis with scarce resources like oxygen, plasma and medicines. I wanted to use my tech knowledge to help our city reach resources better. Hence, this app.”
“This is an open platform where a user does not have to share any personal details. He/she can simply open the application and search for the required resources. The app is an exhaustive directory of essential resources to fight Covid,” she added.
Vensy, a lawyer who turned towards the tech industry, added that the app is updated every 30 minutes. “We look for websites and social media activity to ensure that the provider is active. We also look for social proof in the form of testimonials on social media about the provider’s work and availability. After that, our team calls them personally to take their consent to be listed on the app. This being an emergency, our focus is on verifying these leads quickly. We are advised by the city police to contact them in case of any fraud,” she added.
Asked about the severity of the situation and the determination to help others, Vensy said, “This is an incredibly personal project for me, Medha, Abhishek and all of us in the team. We were all affected in some way, and we’re all determined to do this together. Technology might not always be the solution, but I think it gets us to a solution faster during a crisis.”
The self-taught developers are also helping people from other states to develop something similar to help the needy in their cities. “We’re hosting free training sessions for people from other cities to learn to build their own apps in just two hours. We are all in this together, and we shall succeed,” she said.
The app, which has garnered over 300,000 users, has also caught the attention of Tollywood and Bollywood celebrities. Within three days of launching the app, Priyanka Chopra and Tollywood actor Adivi Sesh shared information about the application on their respective Instagram sites. Several other actors also shared insights about the app on social media....