When technology meets public health, there is a new world of possibilities that opens up without having to leave home. The technological movement tech4COVID19 was born by entrepreneurs and startups in Porto last Saturday and just six days later it already brings together 120 businesses and more than 2,500 people, who are working on about 20 autonomous projects to fight the novel coronavirus. They have already raised 26,000 euros to buy hospital supplies, provide delivery services to family and friends, online medical appointments and are working on an app that identifies Covid-19's contagion networks, in cooperation with health authorities.
The Whatsapp talk started last weekend between a small group of founders of startups in Porto, brought together: a friend of a friend, co-workers, entrepreneurs from different fields of education - from technology and digital to marketing, law, medicine, engineering, management and logistics, fundraising among other sectors of activity - and quickly became a larger group of people who started to talk via the Slack platform, to arrange the right way to put their knowledge and talent at the service of the community.
That was how the technological movement tech4COVID19 was born, a "very collaborative" network, organised essentially in these eight task forces, which coordinate and provide all the necessary support for the development and implementation of projects that, by startups, businesses and informal groups, were born in order to embrace this technological platform to fight the novel coronavirus, explained to "Porto.", Liliana Pinho, tech4COVID19’s communication and marketing coordinator.
And, in fact, "not even one week went by and it seems that we have been working on this for months", continues to report one of the leading proponents of the movement, who says that the degree of adherence to the platform has been extraordinary and that tech4COVID19 is increasing very fast, that it may reach more cities and people.
Among the main projects in progress, emphasis on "the objective of raising 100 thousand euros for the purchase of medical equipment", such as ventilators, by GoParity, a sustainable investment platform. In this short time, they have already raised 26 thousand euros. "In 24 hours, they got 23 thousand euros", highlights Liliana Pinho.
There is also the support of LuGGit, a business for luggage pickup, storage and delivery, which has readjusted itself to ensure a service for the delivery of goods and items to family and friends during the time of isolation. For now, it operates in Porto and Lisbon.
In the city of Porto, where tech4COVID19 was born, it was also possible to close a partnership with the "Too good to go" app, which fights food waste via orders of surplus from restaurants at reduced prices. At the moment, they are already delivering meals to Hospital de Santa Maria.
An app is still under development to record the number of people infected or potentially infected, which seeks to identify and predict contagion networks, mapping the population's status in relation to the novel coronavirus.
"This tracking is being carried out in permanent contact with the health authorities (DGS, ARS-Norte) and with other institutions, among them Turismo de Portugal and Startup Portugal", informs the person responsible for the tech4COVID19’s communication. In fact, there is even a team dedicated to interacting with public entities, said to Rádio Observador, Filipe Ávila da Costa, spokesman for the technological movement.
These doers have also managed to gather more than a hundred doctors available for free video appointments on primary health care and various specialities. Liliana Pinho says that there are three platforms that will bridge this gap: Better Now, Knok and Zaask. The initiative covers the entire Portuguese territory, one only needs a computer and Internet.
Among more than twenty projects in progress, tech4COVID19 also provides matching between hotel units and local accommodation and health professionals, to provide support to relocated doctors and nurses.
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