To accelerate the coronavirus (COVID-19) prevention and mitigation efforts of the Philippines, the National Task Force (NTF) against COVID-19, Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on Emerging Infectious Diseases, and Multisys Technologies Corporation launch StaySafe.ph’s free mobile application on Google Play for Android users, enabling more Filipino users here and abroad to access the platform and report their health conditions amid the pandemic.
The mobile app has a contact tracing feature that determines when a user’s phone is near another that has also installed the app. The system uses the built-in Bluetooth signals in the mobile phones of users, which allows them to exchange IDs with anonymity, encrypted on the devices. Afterwards, they will receive notifications from the mobile app should they come in close contact with those who have symptoms.
The app also has an area scanning feature that uses geolocation, only when enabled by the user, which also checks when someone who reported mild symptoms or severe condition is in the user’s vicinity.
“Expediting the contact tracing process through the StaySafe.ph mobile app is a step further in solving the COVID-19 health crisis. We call on all Filipinos to download the app or register through the StaySafe.ph website. The platform will be more effective when more people are using it, so please explore and maximize. Every health report counts,” said Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Secretary Carlito G. Galvez.
Apart from the contact tracing and area scanning, StaySafe.ph generates unique QR codes for users that can be utilized by local government units (LGUs) as an alternative to the traditional printed quarantine passes, which users may present for future health checks and contact tracing. In addition, LGUs can easily release reminders and announcements to their constituents through StaySafe.ph built-in admin SMS blast.
On the user interface, the app features an easy-to-use health reporting system that people can use to check if they are in good condition or fall under mild or severe cases. Health tips and reminders from medical experts are automatically provided to those who have reported mild symptoms or severe conditions.
David Almirol, Jr., the CEO of MultiSys, the MVP Group-backed software developer behind StaySafe.ph, shared that the Department of Health’s (DOH) COVID-19 information system is also currently being integrated with StaySafe.ph’s backend system. Suspect, probable and confirmed cases registered by DOH will soon be merged into the platform to facilitate enhanced community-based contact tracing.
“Enhancing the StaySafe.ph platform through the mobile app is our way to help flatten the curve and ultimately save more lives. Users will not only be safer with StaySafe.ph’s social distancing system, it will also equip our authorities with such functional analytics like the contact tracing and heatmap that will enable them to allocate, channel and deploy necessary resources to the right communities,” Almirol said.
Currently, more than 600,000 users have registered on StaySafe.ph since its launch on April 9. This number is expected to grow steadily as the mobile application goes live on Google Play Store. It will also soon be available on iOS App Store.
Almirol shared that the StaySafe.ph system has been upgraded to hold up to 200 million users. The system is also currently being migrated to the Department of Information and Communications Technology’s (DICT) as part of the government’s progressing adoption of the StaySafe.ph’s pandemic mitigation system.