The BBMP War Room and the state war room are in the process of gathering data for the app, which will be ready to roll out by July 6.

Karnataka to launch app for COVID-19 patients to find available hospital bedsRepresentation photo
news Coronavirus Saturday, July 04, 2020 - 15:04

Over the last week, two incidents were reported in Bengaluru, where COVID-19 patients died before they were able to get treatment, as many private hospitals turned them away. With patients struggling to find hospital beds, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike is slated to release an application, which can be used to identify the areas where the patients are located, and by patients to identify available beds in hospitals and nearby care centres. 

Speaking to TNM, head of the BBMP's War Room, Hepshiba, said that over the last four days, the BBMP has been in the process of executing plans to implement the new system of identification. "Over the last three to four days, we were in the process of getting all the updates from hospitals to implement the plan. We have an index application to make process flow simple," she said. Index is a type of database that the app is based on. "Whatever new scenario arises, we want to be able to identify the problem and tools available to ensure smooth implementation. We are developing an application based on AI (artificial intelligence) for this," Hepshiba added.  

The new AI-based application will be able to detect the zone where a patient with COVID-19 resides, and once the patient enters their details, ascertain whether the patient should go to a COVID-19 hospital – including private hospitals – or a COVID-19 Care Centre.

"The BBMP Commissioner has also directed all zonal-level officers to set up call centres for COVID-19 patients. The call centre will be monitored by the BBMP War Room. These call centres will be able to identify the areas, ward, street and direct people to the necessary hospital or COVID-19 Care Centre. In the application, people will be able to enter their details and also call the zonal call centres for queries," Hepshiba said. 

The BBMP plans to launch this application by July 6, she added. 

Further, the Karnataka State War Room is also in the process of rolling out a mobile application for patients in other districts to track and find hospital beds. “It will be like a cab service app, where people can have access to ambulances to get to a hospital, and to book a hospital bed,” a senior Health Department official said. The tentative launch is set for July 6 or later next week.

The app will verify the list of COVID-19 patients with ICMR’s database of persons with COVID-19 and allocate beds accordingly, the official added. 

“We have the information about all hospitals, ambulances and the database of patients. This will be a primary database along with call centres. There will be real-time allocation of beds in various facilities. People will also be able to find hospitals on the app. They will have both options of calling the centre and using the app,” the senior official said.