You’re probably in at least one group chat where someone will send you a forwarded message for a supposed already-proven cure for COVID-19. As the world becomes more concerned with this pandemic, there is also a lot of misinformation out there and fighting this is almost as important as giving accurate information. The World Health Organization is planning to do both with this new app that they’re developing called WHO MyHealth and they’re planning to launch it by March 30.
The app is being built as an open source program and was originally proposed by a group of former Google and Microsoft employees who call themselves the “WHO Covid App Collective”. 9to5Google was able to see the work-in-progress version which is mostly the same information that is in the WHO’s WhatsApp chatbot. It will probably be more useful for people to have it all in one place that is easily searchable and usable, like an app or website.
The original design also shows that they are planning to have alert notifications that are specific to where you are, because you probably would want more localized information as well. The app will also have a self-triage tool so you can check first if your symptoms are those of a coronavirus-infected person and you may need to drive yourself to the nearest hospital or health center. A lot of people are extremely paranoid over the slightest sniffle so this can be useful to calm people’s fears or to get help when needed.
The app even has ambitions of helping out with contact tracing by allowing users who are affected by COVID-19 to share their location history with Android. The idea is so it would be easier to trace all the places they visited and see the people they may have been able to affect as well. But this is something that has a lot of privacy and security issues so this may probably not be approved by governing bodies.
Even without that last problematic feature, this upcoming app is something that should be useful for a lot of people who need information but are too stressed with social media to get their news from there. As soon as the app launches, we’ll tell you more about it and if it’s something that we will recommend for times like this.