Misinformation has been one of the biggest dangers circulating online during the CORVID-19 period. This has led to tech conglomerates such as Twitter, Facebook and Apple coming up with ways to prevent the spread of false – and potentially harmful information – about the virus. Some governments including South Africa have banned circulation of misinformation by enforcing it as a criminal offence, punishable by up to six months in prison, a heavy fine, or both. Thus, the need to communicate accurate information has inspired the World Health Organisation to develop a tech solution.
WHO will soon be launching an app that makes finding factual and up-to-date information about COVID-19 a breeze, according to a report published by 9to5Google. The app will reportedly be called WHO MyHealth and is scheduled to be released for iOS and Android as early as today (30 March).
What’s interesting about the app is that it is being built by an open-source collective of individuals made up of former Microsoft and Google employees as well as WHO advisors. In fact, due to its open-source nature, anyone who wants to can get an immediate preview of the app by downloading the latest build over at GitHub.
The app is expected to be a hub of information about howto protect yourself from the virus as well as offering travel advice and calling out misinformation that’s readily floating around about COVID-19. More features will be added over time, including the ability to receive location-specific notifications and self-triaging tools to help people determine whether they may have the disease.
Further down the line, the a app developers are envisioning WHO MyHealth to be capable of what’s known as “contract tracing.” This is a technique that uses smartphone data to track individuals and alert them to whether they have been in a location that’s a COVID-19 hotspot or in direct contact with someone who has become infected with COVID-19.