Bengaluru South citizens can dial or Whatsapp on 080 6191 4960 for a whole range of help
COVID Raksha, an initiative of Bengaluru South MP Tejasvi Surya, was launched on Friday in the presence of South Zone in-charge minister R Ashoka.
It is a one-stop system for Bengaluru South citizens, from reporting a mild fever to monitoring home isolation for asymptomatic patients and handling COVID emergencies. A helpline is accessible by phone and Whatsapp on 080 6191 4960 to report COVID-19 symptoms, enquire about COVID testing, seek guidance on turning positive or reach out for urgent care.
“As your representative in Bengaluru South, the reports of patients helplessly knocking on the doors of different hospitals for medical treatment deeply concerned me. We wanted to solve that problem up front with COVID Raksha,” said Surya in a statement. “The platform has evolved to provide an end-to-end digital solution for citizens. For example, even while a patient is still awaiting hospitalisation, the COVID Raksha platform can provide the patients emergency care at their homes with the help of oxygen concentrators and cylinders. Expert doctors will continuously monitor and guide the patients through tele or video consultation. The platform decentralizes and automates most of the processes, helping in managing the pandemic operations in a better way.”
Any citizen who calls on the helpline will be greeted by an IVR (Interactive Voice Response) system. Citizens can choose one of the options — to be triaged for a COVID test, speak to a doctor before/after testing over an emergency, consult an expert for home isolation or quarantine and receive information about the nearest fever clinic. On Whatsapp, citizens receive the same options with the basic triaging, as per ICMR guidelines, happening over text. The IVR and Whatsapp flow is available in 3 languages for Bengaluru South — Kannada, English and Hindi. Citizens can also access the information on COVIDraksha.org.
Citizens receive a call back from an expert doctor within one hour of raising the ticket. For emergency requests, a doctor is assigned to reach out to the citizen within 15 minutes.. COVID Raksha supports 3,200 doctors and 350 more doctors well-versed in Kannada. The platform has also enabled 100 oxygen concentrators and 200 oxygen cylinders for Bengaluru South. Over 300 volunteers of the MP’s Coronavirus Task Force manage phone calls, with 300 more on the ground to support delivery options for COVID patients. In all, more than 10 start-ups have joined hands with the MP’s Office in a first of its kind initiative in the country.
“With COVID Raksha, a COVID-positive patient can request a callback from a doctor in case of an emergency and seek hospitalization based on the doctor’s recommendation,” said State Revenue Minister R Ashoka. “The platform also has systems in place to facilitate testing and home isolation/quarantine for a citizen. It also provides information to a citizen on the fever clinics, volunteers and officials of his ward. With this point of care model, COVID Raksha intends to provide a patient access to healthcare right at one’s doorstep,” added Ashoka.
For developing the platform, the MP’s Office brought together various startups and volunteer-driven projects from the city. Kaleyra has provided the Cloud calling system for the platform, along with WhatsApp chatbot services. Swasth has provided the full unified backend digital system for managing doctors, testing, diagnostics and home isolation. Swasth and Project Step One together provide teleconsultation and video consultation with their set of doctors, with Project Step One also attending to emergency requests. Portea has set up the necessary home isolation protocols to practically operate the point of care model of oxygen concentrators envisaged by Dr Ravindra Mehta, Chief of Pulmonary and Critical Care, Apollo Hospitals, Jayanagar. 7.ai, one of India’s biggest customer service providers, has provided call executives and they, along with volunteers from the MP’s Coronavirus Task Force, have been trained by Project Step One to handle calls. SRL Diagnostics and Fortis Hospital, Bannerghatta Road support with testing, diagnostics and safety equipment. ITW Consulting and Cartoon Mango assisted in the overall technical design of the platform.
COVID Raksha provides advice at your doorstep and guidance at an early stage of the illness. A win-win programme which will not only help the distressed individual but also impact on COVID outcomes.”
Dr Ravindra Mehta |
Chief of Pulmonary and Critical Care, Apollo Hospitals, Jayanagar
COVID Raksha is … an end-to-end digital solution with multiple touch points over calls and WhatsApp. With the help of the government and the MP, we’ll be able to flatten the curve as early as possible.
Aniketh Jain | Chief Revenue Officer, Kaleyra
This task force has been created to ensure that citizens have access to quality care, right from doctor consultations, testing, home isolation kits, oxygen concentrators at the doorstep, to assistance in admission to hospitals.
Shashank ND, Co-founder & CEO, Practo
This multi-channel approach will allow citizens to reach doctors, mental health counsellors, emergency services in the quickest possible time, thereby saving crucial lives.
Derek D’Souza, Volunteer, Project Step One
COVID Raksha is a wonderful initiative to support COVID-positive patients and Portea is privileged to be a part of this initiative.
Vaibhav Tiwari | COO, Portea Medical
This initiative will also make it easier for people to reach out for help through the streamlined process that is set up.
Nagarajan Shanmugam, Chief People Officer, 7.ai
The platform is a reflection of good public-private partnership. This will undoubtedly serve as a role model for managing the pandemic, both from the testing and from patients’ care perspective.
Dr Kunal Sharma | Section Head (Pathology) & Consultant Oncopathologist, SRL Diagnostics
The beauty of the platform is its seamless access via IVR & WhatsApp to enable end-to-end COVID care to citizens.”
Karthik M Bhat | Business Head, ITW consulting
This is an extraordinary initiative by Tejasvi Surya and we are glad to be involved with it.