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Cover image for COVID-19: Medical Emergency Line Queueing [Concept]
Patrícia Pereira
Patrícia Pereira

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COVID-19: Medical Emergency Line Queueing [Concept]

Hi, all.

So me and @leeforaday have decided to participate in the Twilio x DEV Hackaton, and here we are just putting our application idea out into the world.

A small background

Just like in many other countries, in our country, Portugal, the COVID-19 pandemic is hitting hard. Our National Health System, which is not at 100% even in normal situations, does not have conditions to receive and treat the enormous amount of patients needing medical care due to the COVID-19 virus.

Our government and health authorities are working around this disability by trying to enforce people to first go through our existing national Medical Emergency Line.

If someone feels sick and suspects it might be from COVID-19 infection, instead of going to an hospital urgency service, they first must call this line. The patient will only go to the hospital if the medical responder deems that the their symptoms are serious enough to need medical assistance. If not, the patient will isolate themselves at home and be accompanied daily by phone.

The problem

This approach is starting to show its first positive impacts by avoiding the collapse of the health system. But with the increasing number of calls to the Medical Emergency Line, the hold time has become proportionally bigger, all the while with the callers obliged to stay on the call.

Our solution

Our proposal for this hackaton is to develop an application to simplify and improve the waiting process for the patients who call this line. The application would be intended to be used by the medical responderes in the national Emergency Medical Line.

The core feature of our application (still to be named) is an idle waiting line for the national Emergency Medical Line. The process would become the following:

  • The patient with symptoms would call the line.

    • There would be no human interaction at this point.
    • They would be asked to identify themselves and describe their symptoms.
    • The call would end and the patient would now be in a waiting line to be contacted back, but without the need to be on the phone.
    • The patient would receive a request identifier by SMS which they can use at any time to get their estimated waiting time left.
  • The patient would eventually be contacted back by a medical responder.

    • After the call, if the medical responder decided that the patient is a COVID-19 suspect but without the need of medical assistance, they would be able to flag the patient for continuous phone follow ups.

Twilio Integration

The implementation of this project will use the following Twilio products:

That's all for now. It's time to get to work and see what we can come up with until the end of the hackaton. Stay tunned!

Top comments (2)

htnguy profile image
Hieu Nguyen

I ❤️ the idea. I have no doubt that you can do it!. More importantly, I really really hope that this app will have a bigger than just this hackathon. I have a similar situation where I live -> People are constantly calling the unemployment benefits line to request their benefits because they can't work, but there is just not enough responders for everyone to talk to, so they implemented a queue similar to your concept. Good Luck!

brunooliveira profile image
Bruno Oliveira

Cool stuff! Good luck!!