The Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI), part of Hamad Bin Khalifa University, has developed a self-assessment tool in 11 languages to check for the novel Coronavirus disease (Covid-19) and help the users know more about their health status.
“We developed this tool in 11 languages, specifically to serve Qatar and the region. Our aim is to educate the people and suggest when and how they should seek medical help. Hopefully, this reduces the load on health systems as well as prevents transmission,” Dr Faisal Farooq, head, Centre for Digital Health, QCRI told Gulf Times.
Available on web and smartphone platforms, people can access the tool here.
Other than English and Arabic, the tool is available in Asian languages such as Hindi, Urdu, Punjabi, Nepali, Sinhala, Tamil, Malayalam, Filipino and Bangla. This can help most residents of Qatar to conduct self-assessment in their own mother tongue.
According to the official, the tool is a small piece of work from QCRI with a set of questions based on the guidelines of World Health Organisation and the US Communicable Disease Centre. “In addition, it is also inspired by the Covid-19 triaging protocol at Hamad Medical Corporation. There are similar apps that are being used in many other countries in the world such as the US, the UK, Canada among others. We wanted to build something for the country and the region and in the most commonly used regional languages,” explained the official.
QCRI has highlighted three major ideas behind developing this tool. It is aimed at providing a level of understanding (and thus comfort) to people who may have symptoms and want to know what their risks are of having the disease by a simple set of questions.
It also aims to alleviate the flooding of health systems such as doctors, clinics, hospitals if people have minor symptoms or are at low risk.
“It also acts as a tool for educating people on how this disease spreads as well as on preventive measures. For example, if someone answers ‘Yes’ to pre-existing conditions, they are informed to take extra caution. Similarly, we have embedded a language agnostic educational video from Stanford Med,” added Dr Farooq.