(This is an English translation of the article from https://www.wall-street.ro/articol/IT-C-Tehnologie/266328/gps-pentru-coronavirus-ce-aplicatie-au-gandit-doi-romani-pentru-limitarea-raspandirii-covid.html )
It is more than obvious that the pandemic changed everything we knew as normal in our lives. From movement restrictions up to compulsory face mask wearing, which for some of us, seems like the toughest punishment, coronavirus managed to become the greatest fear of all nations. However, the outbreak brought some advantages, such as digitalization, or better said, rushing it. wall-street.ro spoke with a Romanian, who, from the digitalization standpoint, came up with a plan to faster restore the normality we knew.
Dragoș Stănescu, educated at the Academy of Economic Studies in Bucharest and CEO of 0-Day Capital, together with Mugur Stancu, a Romanian entrepreneur with medical management studies and Sevda Memet, oncologist and studying for a master’s degree in medical public policies at Stanford University, put together a plan to reduce coronavirus infection risk. The three have reached the conclusion that, if from the medical standpoint all that could be done was already ongoing (except scarce attempts),from the technical and digital standpoint however, there is still work to be done.
There have been rumors about different apps that could warn an user regarding proximity to a possibly infected individual, but many states did not follow this initiative. Conspiracy theories that a person’s personal data would circulate freely around the world have jammed the authorities in their attempt to find a digital solution, and where they have done so (France, Germany or Great Britain), the implemented applications do nothing but monitor the contacts of those people already infected with SARS-COV 2.
Well, Stanescu and Stancu went beyond coronavirus and outlined and application which might help individuals, even in the case of chronic conditions.
How the app works.
The application started from the idea of advanced patient monitoring, especially in the pandemic context.
AdMoER or Advanced Monitoring Emergency Response Is based on a medical algorithm designed by Mugur Stancu together with a group of specialists from the United States. The algorithm identifies the infection risk among general population on several risk levels, starting from non-existent risk, escalating to risk that requires self-monitoring, testing recommendation and reaching the top “ICU presentation” risk level.
The app is designed for individual users, private and public organizations, health authorities, and private and public hospitals as well as pharma and health industries. The app will be launched by the end of January 2021.
” AdMoER does not use personal data as there is a high public concern regarding its use for illicit purposes. It works simply, based on an alphanumeric code and a password in order to insure full anonymity of the individual user, then recording data from mobile phones and wearables for example. However, data as height, weight, age, possible pre-existing conditions, like cardiac insufficiency if applicable, or work-out habits will be introduced”, explained Dragoș Stănescu, CEO of 0-Day Capital, for wall-street.ro.
The unique characteristic of the app is that the app uses color codes for risk zones and the user is alerted according to the recorded risk level.
“In other words, the app records users cough patterns for example, this recording is then compared to existing cough pattern database. The same applies to voice or breathing rhythm and even blood pressure levels. The app stores and compares these recordings to the internal database and assigns the appropriate risk level and the associated color codes”, continued Mr. Stanescu.
“To return to our normal lives, we need groundbreaking technology and innovation. AdMoER will help keep our communities healthy and I’m glad to see this launching in Savannah soon.”
– Buddy Carter, Georgia Congressman and member of the US Congress Health Commission –
What are the color codes and what do they mean?
The health signs collected in the application are processed by the medical predictive algorithm of the applications and are assigned different color codes such as:
Green is the equivalent of a safe zone, where no risk has been identified. It is followed by blue, where slight modifications may occur, the users are advised to monitor themselves. Once elevated to yellow, the app recommendations become imperative and also testing for infections is advised.
Orange level recommends seeing the currant physician or check in a nearby hospital.
Red is already asking the user to call 911.
” The app does not provide medical diagnostics. There should be no confusion about that. It only provides a risk level assessment” explained Stănescu.
The founder insists that the app is a particularly good instrument in monitoring chronical condition patients too. Moreover, the app can keep track of vaccination status considering the current period.
How the app could help health authorities?
Medical systems across the globe have been put to test by the coronavirus outbreak. Unfortunately, even the strongest health sectors have showed their weaknesses when faced with the pandemic waves. One of the most affected categories was chronical patients who, due to fear and high hospital occupancy, were not able to benefit from their treatment plans.
” The physician can access the app both on phone or desktop and be able to track in real time his patients evolution, of course, following explicit patient agreement for monitoring purposes. The same way the patient is warned about possible risks, the physician is also informed about potential situations his patients may face”, Stănescu explained.
Also, Stanescu mentioned that we can picture the app as an advanced version of Google Maps, behaving as an active map of the area it is used in.
Other US authorities also see real help in the application. Paula Kreissler, executive director and project manager of CDC Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health Grant (YMCA of Coastal Georgia), considers that the solution proposed by the two Romanians can protect the most vulnerable among us.
” Improving the health of Savannah is the goal of Healthy Savannah. We are proud to be working with AdMoER to develop an application that will help protect the most vulnerable among us and let us get back to normal quckly”, Kreissler declared.
Will the app be available in Romania too?
The app started from the desire of two Romanians for life to return to normal. It will be launched in the US due to the market dimension and relevance and, as well, due to a very important characteristic, namely, the existence of a strong community spirit in smaller towns and large urban areas too. The founders intend to launch on other markets than the US too and they are not excluding Romania.
” I believe we are the first bringing up such a concept. Others have created hardware integrated in mobile phones or in miniaturized devices in order to identify some of the specific signs of a COVID-19 infection or other diseases. Siemens, for example, created the possibility to perform quick testing via mobile phone screens. All these projects are not in competition with AdMoER, data recorded via these devices can be easily integrated in our predictive medical algorithm. They might become commercial partners with AdMoer”, Stanescu added. He also mentioned that the app will also be available in Romania as soon as a strong institutional partner in the private healthcare sector will be identified.
” Why did we choose the US instead of Romania or any other European state? Because we are talking about a market with a much better visibility. Moreover, most of our partners are located in the US. When we will approach the Romanian market, we will first discuss with the large private healthcare operators. They already have extensive networks in place and are experienced in communicating with the Romanian authorities”, explained Stănescu.