29/03/2020 | BlogPost
The fires of the global COVID-19 pandemic are spreading at breakneck speeds around the world, and the toll that the virus is taking on people’s lives, the economies of continents, and society at large are nothing short of staggering. As the drama is only now beginning to unfold in the US, I have had front-row seats to it’s preview right here in Italy where, for the last month, the Coronavirus has decimated the elderly population of this country’s north despite an outstanding healthcare system and heroic efforts of the healthcare professionals working around the clock in unimaginable conditions. To-date 55 doctors and nurses in Italy have also succumbed to the disease they were fighting against, and hundreds more are infected putting even more strain and stress on a system barely able to function.
For our part, here at Healthware, we have joined this battle too, working closely with paginemediche, one of our portfolio startups, in the development and international localization of a COVID-19 diagnostic and triage chatbot that has already helped tens of thousands of people recognize symptoms (using to the official government protocol) and giving local instructions as to where to go for help, and what to do in case of possible infection.
War metaphors about the Coronavirus situation abound, and with the rapid building of field hospitals, emergency triage operations, and having to make impossible decisions as whom to let live or die in the allocation of scarce ventilators are sure to leave a long lasting emotional scars on these professionals, in the form of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) that awaits many of them when the Covid storm subsides.
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