3 Kenyan firms develop app that alerts you when near COVID-19 patient


Three Kenyan firms have developed an app, Linda app, which will aid you in knowing when you are in close proximity with a COVID-19 patient. Bob Ndumbi, the lead partner in the project said the mobile application will use Bluetooth technology to alert a user whenever a positive person was near and thus reminding them to keep a distance.

The app will use data from the Ministry of Health to help keep users in the know for a coronavirus patient.

Bob Ndumbi said the application would work with data from the government such that the numbers of those tested for the disease, whether positive or negative, will be used in the programme. “So if their (COVID-19 patient) Bluetooth is on and yours is on, and we encourage the public to leave their Bluetooth on, your Bluetooth will vibrate and that will warn you to keep distance,” he explained.

The app will also aid in contact tracing since the Bluetooth technology will help identify the people who came in contact with a positive case. Thirdly, Ndumbi said the application would encourage people to stay home since there were challenges on the app where people could win prizes for social distancing. “If you stay home for seven days, you stand a chance to win prizes such as data bundles for the younger generation or but we are also building rewards such as shopping vouchers,” the lead partner said.

It would help Kenyans adhere to government directives such as staying at home

In addition, the app has a self-assessment feature which is based on the guidelines by the World Health Organisation so that medics can know people who are in danger zones. Ndumbi added that the app would help maintain the flow of information to counter COVID-19 misinformation. This invention came a couple of days after a group of 16 engineering students from Kenyatta University (KU) developed ventilators to help critically ill patients.

The students from different faculties embarked on the venture to develop the ventilator’s prototypes within a week putting in 18 hours a day. According to the students, the prototypes were awaiting certification and approval from the government while expressing optimism that it would be done by Monday, April 13, 2020.


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