Shwaas: an innovative app for COVID care in remote communities

The recent wave of COVID-19 in India has not spared even the remotest villages in the forests of India. These villages were largely unaffected during the first wave. The challenges that the population already faces, such as lack of access to basic healthcare, have compounded manifold. While trained frontline health workers and an upgraded health infrastructure are desperately needed, they are unlikely to arrive soon. The situation calls for involving more people from within the community. They can assist the limited number of health personnel that are currently being stretched extremely thin. It is in this context that one of AID’s long term partners, Jan Swasthya Sahyog (JSS), has come up with a very innovative solution – a mobile app named Shwaas. 

The Shwaas app developed by AID’s partner JSS. Picture taken from

Shwaas is a simple Android app that allows frontline workers/volunteers to effectively provide support for COVID-19 and other similar pneumonia causing illnesses in their communities. The app generates a basic risk score based on simple questions such as whether someone has fever, cough (with duration), breathing difficulties, age, respiratory rates, hypertension, comorbidities and so on. It provides advice based on the risk score. This helps the team supporting the patient make informed decisions about pursuing various options ranging from treatment at home to being referred to the intensive care unit at the nearby hospital. This app does not require an internet connection for its use.

AID has supported JSS with this effort and is now actively involved in translating this app to different languages so AID partners in other parts of India can also use this relatively quickly.


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