Technology

Brazilian startup launches a contact tracing app to assist in the control of COVID-19 pandemic

The app performs the tracking by geographic monitoring people who had contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19; it's all done by cell phone

Image: Global Health Monitor/Courtesy

The Brazilian startup Global Health Monitor (GHM), from Curitiba (Paraná), developed a tool to assist in the control of COVID-19: an app that performs the tracking by geographic monitoring people who had contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19. It’s all done by cell phone. Users just have to download the app and register.

In addition to the app, GHM created the virtual assistant Tainá especially for the S Vaccination Project of the Butantan Institute. A team of infectologists from the Butantan developed the both technologies together with the startup. Butantan took over the project and launched the app and Tainá in the municipalities of Araraquara and Serrana, both in the state of São Paulo.

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The app Global Health Monitor will do everything from monitoring individual symptoms and exposure to the virus to the COVID-19 case map in each region, with real-time updates. It issues alerts when the user is near a risky area and also organizes the digital vaccination card.

Contact tracing tools such as the GHM app are already being used in other countries and there are similar projects developed in Brazilian states. The United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends using such applications to control the spread of coronavirus.

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According to GHM’s founder and CEO, Henrique Mendes, the startup is guided by a purpose to generate a positive impact on health, safety and social mobility. The pandemic accelerated the project. “With the pandemic, we realized the need for a tool for monitoring the disease,” he explained.

The next step is to expand the operation and take the monitoring of COVID-19 cases to more cities, through integration with a database of partner laboratories. In addition, the startup also wants to develop a version for companies and for the student community. The expectation is to start operations in three more cities next month.