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One of the struggles Filipinos face amid the COVID-19 pandemic is the difficulty to look for a hospital that can accommodate a COVID-positive patient. Australia-based Filipino data scientist Mara Reyes has developed an app called ‘Cobeds19,’ which helps citizens find vacant hospital beds for patients in need of COVID-related medical care.
A new ray of hope shines for Filipino families who are struggling in finding vacant hospital beds to accommodate a COVID-19 patient.
As looking for hospital beds come across as a difficulty for many, a Filipino data scientist has developed an app called ‘Cobeds19’ to aid families in seeking vacant hospital beds for families who have COVID-stricken members.
The birth of ‘Cobeds19’
The brain behind the app, Mara Reyes, is an Australia-based Filipino scientist who had developed an application that can track the COVID-19 hospital bed capacity in the Philippines.
Reyes is an alumna of the University of the Philippines and has earned a master’s degree in Data Science from the University of Sydney.
In a report by Manila Times, Reyes stated she developed ‘Cobeds19’ after reading news during the Holy Week about how difficult it was to find hospitals with vacancies for COVID-19 patients in the Philippines. It was when the country faced a new surge in COVID-19 cases, and hospitals in Metro Manila and nearby areas got overwhelmed.
The ‘Cobeds19’ app allows an individual to search beforehand which hospital in their vicinity has a vacancy for COVID-19 patients, whether it is already at full capacity, or if there are chances to secure a bed in the hospital.
Reyes told Inquirer that she and her husband, Dax — whom she lives with in Australia — asked themselves what could possibly be a way for people to know which hospitals have available beds.
How the ‘Cobeds19’ app works
Available on mobile and desktop, the app can be accessed by visiting https://datascience.group/cobeds19/.
The app displays a map of the Philippines with hovering bed icons corresponding to the location of a particular hospital. The user can then click on the icon and necessary information and bed capacity of the hospital will be displayed.
A green bed icon indicates vacant bed capacity, while the red bed icon means all COVID-19 beds are already occupied. The info provided also includes the capacity of the hospital’s isolation care unit (ICU) capacity, as well as the availability of isolation and ward beds.
The information displayed includes each of the hospital’s address, contact number, and the last time the info was last updated.
On the other hand, the app also has a ‘Color-blind friendly mode’ for individuals who are in need of the special feature.
Accuracy of the app
Reyes shared with Inquirer that the precision of the app highly depends on the information provided by the Department of Health, which is her primary source.
She said she uses the DOH’s Data Drop, which regularly releases the number of COVID-19 cases hours after it has been defined.
Reyes told Manila Times that even though she’s happy with what she created, she hopes that people wouldn’t have to use it.
The Philippines has logged 4,234 new COVID-19 cases as of May 11, Tuesday, which brings the total cases in the Philippines at 1,113,547. Deaths are now at a total of 18,620 after recording 59 new fatalities. Meanwhile, 7,837 others have recovered from the illness, bringing the country’s total recovery to 1,038,175.