Mobile Technology saving lives: changing healthcare systems with simple technology solutions

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This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Ms. Adda Cecília Batista de Carvalho, a third year medical student at Centro Universitário do Planalto Central Apparecido dos Santos-UNICEPLAC. She is affiliated to the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), cordial partner of The Sting. The opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writer and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.


Everyone knows the problem that the hole world is going trough right now. Brazil, specifically has just reached the mark of 80 thousand deaths for COVID-19 (20/07). We are in a serious crisis. These past few days, our country has been registering more than one thousand deaths per week. There are approximately 2.129.053 Brazilian people infected with the new coronavirus. This is frustrating and worrisome.

In other perspectives, it is important then, to wonder how the system is dealing with the overload and the constant raise on the number of cases, and, more importantly, who has the most reliable information to pass on to the public. “Fake news” is a serious issue all over the world because of globalization and the subconsequent wide access to information. Brazil has an even bigger problem with this. In 2018, Brazil was classified ad the third country with the biggest exposition (35%) to fake news by Forbes, after Turkey and México.

Therefore, the unified system of health in Brazil (SUS), had to come up with a mechanism to unify the vital information, to deny fake news and to help people with symptoms of gravity to get directed to a health unity closer to their houses. That was how the app “Coronavírus SUS” was presented to the population. It has several functions, amongst them, a tab destined to denying fake news. In the app, the public can also find all the official information about coronavirus, like the importance of masks, how the diagnosis is done, especial tips for travelers, news regarding vaccines and possible treatments, how the notification of cases is done, and more basic information like what is coronavirus, what are the symptoms, how it is transmitted and how to prevent contracting the disease. In order to include foreigners, the device can be set to English and Spanish.

Recent updates on the platform, have made it more accessible for people with disabilities to get more specific information and added new information for the assessment of classification in risk groups, like age, sex and comorbidities. The recommendations for users are categorized according to the responses on the evaluation of risk in: probable case, not probable, severe and indicated for isolation. It is a completely free app developed by SUS informatics department (DATASUS) that has been available for download since February 28. Reinforcing public health actions against the spread of the virus, the gadget was already uploaded by more then 3,5 million users.

Finally, this is just the beginning of a series of actions that the country has to take in order to contain the proliferation of coronavirus and to control the overload in public health services. In this way, many other interventions still have to happen, since the numbers keep rising. With the reopening of commerce and schools, programs like the one presented in this text have to be widely spread to avoid the overflow of fake news that has been increasing, especially concerning medications considered “miraculous”.

Referências:

  1. Aplicativo Coronavírus SUS agora envia mensagens de alertas aos usuários. Ministério da Saúde, 2020. Disponível em: <https://www.saude.gov.br/noticias/agencia-saude/46628-aplicativo-coronavirus-sus-agora-envia-mensagens-de-alertas-aos-usuarios>. Acesso em: 21 de julho de 2020.
  2. Coronavírus – SUS. br, 2020. Disponível em: <https://www.gov.br/pt-br/apps/coronavirus-sus>. Acesso em: 21 de julho de 2020.
  3. Brasil passa de 80 mil mortes por coronavírus. G1.Globo.com, 2020 Disponível em: <https://g1.globo.com/bemestar/coronavirus/noticia/2020/07/20/casos-e-mortes-por-coronavirus-no-brasil-em-20-de-julho-segundo-consorcio-de-veiculos-de-imprensa.ghtml>. Acesso em: 21 de julho de 2020.
  4. Casos e mortes por coronavírus no Brasil em 21 de julho, segundo consórcio de veículos de imprensa (atualização das 13h). Globo.com, 2020 Disponível em: <https://g1.globo.com/bemestar/coronavirus/noticia/2020/07/20/casos-e-mortes-por-coronavirus-no-brasil-em-20-de-julho-segundo-consorcio-de-veiculos-de-imprensa.ghtml>. Acesso em: 21 de julho de 2020.
  5. 12 países com maior exposição a fake News. Forbes, 2018. Disponível em: <https://forbes.com.br/listas/2018/06/12-paises-com-maior-exposicao-a-fake-news/#foto1>. Acesso em: 21 de julho de 2020

About the author

Adda Cecília Batista de Carvalho is a third year medical student at Centro Universitário do Planalto Central Apparecido dos Santos-UNICEPLAC. She has been in love with the health area since she was a little girl, and has always planned to graduate and specialize in Geriatrics. She is passionate about Integrated Medicine and all things regarding holistic vision of pacients. She joined IFMSA because she wanted to make a difference in the community, she works by showing all health workers what a human view of medicine can generate. She is constantly seeking self improvement.

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