Local technology company v75 Inc. on Tuesday launched a Web Application that is solely aimed at assisting in the fight against the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).
The app gives persons an opportunity to interface with it with through a conversation – you can ask anything about the Coronavirus and it will answer.
It is called IRIS – (Intelligent reporting information system) and was the product of a hackathon by the company in March 2019.
Founder and Chief Executive Officer of v75 Inc. Eldon Marks told the News Room that given the issues with access to information about the new coronavirus, they felt it was important to launch the app now. To access the application you can visit iris.gy/chat.
IRIS provides real-time information on COVID-19 in Guyana and affected countries around the world.
Information is automatically pulled from the World Health Organisation (WHO) website when it is updated.
The CEO explained that the most unique thing about IRIS is that anyone can access it and it was programmed to understand Guyanese creole.
“We believe that right now is the ideal time whereby we need IRIS, we need IRIS to interface with the citizens because there is an issue with regards to accessing information.
“What we have done with IRIS is we have taken the two primary information sources the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) and WHO and we have populated that and produced a conversational experience through IRIS that allows people to ask her questions about COVID-19,” Marks said.
Marks pointed out that there is currently no system in place to collect information on suspected cases and available facilities that affected persons can access. As such, the company is working on another application that will complement IRIS.
This new application will allow health officials to understand the current state of communities and households affected by the new coronavirus.
Technology Developer II at v75 Inc. Deenauth Mohabeer explains.
“If you are in an affected area you can go put in your household information, log what are your current resources, if you are low on food, water and other essentials if there are current affected cases in your household and then that gets sent automatically to public health officials who can then use that data to focus their attention to those affected households or communities,” Mohabeer said.
Meanwhile, Chief Technology Developer at the company Asa Brouet developed the conversation interface for IRIS. He said the app reduces time and also reduces physical interaction which is important during this time.
“Some of the areas of focus deals with what is the coronavirus, how the virus is spread, how to prevent the spread and the statistics as the virus progresses,” Brouet said.
The company is also working to provide the app in different channels such as Whatsapp, Facebook messenger, text messages and a call in channel. The Ministry of Public Health hotline numbers is also available on the app.
The CEO is slated to meet with officials of the Public Health Ministry to have them endorse the app.