In the Philippines where the COVID-19 situation rages, technology has come to the rescue—via the intelligent use of data.

In the current pandemic, shortages of hospital beds and ventilators critical to COVID-19 care in medical institutions is a major concern.

In the Philippines, COVID-19 cases have reached an all-time high: the country currently has some of the highest numbers of cases in South-east Asia.

However, help is at hand now from a “behavioral pattern data aggregator” solution from a Singapore-based AI firm. Christened “Data Natin”, meaning “our data” in Tagalog, the AI-powered tool can be used to manage available hospital beds and ventilators in real time, as well as to provide an updated rundown of cases in a given geographical location. This can increase the efficient use of medical resources to avert shortages or loss of visibility amid chaotic operational environments.

Battling the pandemic with useful data

Screenshot of Data Natin’s various Covid-19 metrics

Created by SQREEM Technologies, the tracking tool helps medical personnel to keep track of live COVID-19 data, including available hospital beds and ventilators by zip code. The technology behind Data Natin is based on the firm’s ‘behavioral pattern data aggregator” expertise that improves the collection, analyses and creation of specialized databases via AI.

SQREEM had invested US$500,000 to retool its generic data aggregation technology to help doctors and patients in urban hotspots where there may not be sufficient hospital beds for patients. Said its CEO and co-founder, Ian Chapman-Banks: “We recognized that the Philippines was doing stellar work making data around incident of COVID-19 available with data points such as the availability of beds and ventilators being accessible to the public, but it was unstructured. Learning from our experience in the contact-tracing world, the goal was to produce updated and meaningful data, organized by live tracking dashboards so that people can get to the resources they need more efficiently.”

For healthcare providers, this means a more equitable distribution of patients resulting in less burdening in certain clinics and hospitals. “This is part of our initiative to lend support to countries as we had done in the past,” said Chapman-Banks, whose firm’s AI and ML expertise had been put to good use in last-year’s urgent contact-tracing efforts regionally.  

Making sense of government data with AI

Data Natin utilizes publicly-available data to track and showcase information in real time via a single dashboard from which users can monitor the spread of infection in their area according to age, level of severity, city, or neighborhood.

Users can also track hospitals’ bed capacities, allows informed and timely decisions that can improve a patient’s chances of recovery, to be made. According to Chapman-Banks: “We’ve taken a lot of disparate and unstructured data from all over the Philippines and organized it in one central place. The platform is updated every 24 hours, every time new data is released.”

The data aggregation platform can also be leveraged for more-informed government policy-making and community planning. “The government can use this as a tool as a knowledge base to make decisions and policies. And so they could do logistics planning because they know a surge is coming. Local communities can also use this as a tool to independently take steps to control the spread within their own neighborhood.”