Volunteers get boost from operation smile app
FINDING cleft patients has always been one of the biggest challenges for Operation Smile. Most of them are either located in impoverished, remote areas, or some of them are just not confident enough to seek treatment due to their physical appearance.
An initiative by PLDT wireless subsidiary Smart Communications, however, seeks to address this problem. The Operation Smile patient-mapping mobile application, which was conceptualized by Smart for Operation Smile Philippines, was deployed during a recent medical mission in Bacolod City.
“Most patients are in the provinces. The challenge is how to find them. Another challenge is that when you have a facial deformity, you don’t go out,” said Wiggy Fontanilla, OSP president. “This mapping and tracking system changes the whole endeavor by coming up with a heat map of patients.”
At the Bacolod medical mission, volunteers have recorded cleft patients’ details using the app, as Operation Smile aims to store patient information on the Web for better access and monitoring.
The Operation Smile app is available as a free download for iOS and Android devices. Anyone can download and use the app—just open an account and follow the instructions on uploading patient information.
Patient details gathered through the app will be uploaded to the central server of Operation Smile, which will use the information to monitor patients’ treatment and plan for the locations of succeeding medical missions.
“In our efforts to use technology for good, we partner with institutions such as Operation Smile, which seeks to bring healthcare closer to communities. We support Operation Smile as it aims to eradicate the backlog of cleft conditions worldwide,” said Ramon R. Isberto, public affairs group head for PLDT and Smart.
For its part, Operation Smile has expressed its appreciation for Smart’s efforts. “We sincerely appreciate all that [Smart has] done to help us give people with cleft conditions new smiles,” the global Operation Smile unit said on its Twitter account.#
To support Operation Smile, Smart subscribers may also donate by texting SMILE (space) (amount) to 4483.