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WHO Partners With Tech Companies For Coronavirus Hackathon

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Tech companies including Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter, WeChat, TikTok and others have partnered with WHO for a hackathon. The partnership will promote the development of software to take on the challenges related to the Coronavirus pandemic.

The #BuildforCOVID19 hackathon was announced yesterday and will begin accepting project submissions on Thursday. The hackathon will basically encourage software developers to build projects focused around the themes of health. Including the vulnerable populations, communities, education systems and businesses.

The tech companies “will be sharing resources to support participants throughout the submission period.”

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“We’re encouraging YOU -the innovators around the world to #BuildforCOVID19 using technologies of your choice across a range of suggested themes and challenge areas. Some are sourced through health partners including the World Health Organization and scientists at the Chan Zuckerberg Biohub,” according to the hackathon portal.

WHO declared Covid -19 a world pandemic and since then, the government have come up with stern measures to guide their citizens to practice social distancing. Companies have also gone ahead to implement a wok form home policy to reduce the chances of spreading it.

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“There is high isolation happening within communities right now. We want to create an online space where developers can share ideas, experiment and build software solutions to help address this crisis. We’ve connected with a range of partners including the World Health Organization (WHO) to understand some of the key challenge areas that technological innovation could help solve” added Hackathon.

Key themes of the Covid-19 Hackathon

Some of the topics include the need for accurate disease prevention information around the world in languages/formats that resonate locally. And also regional needs for expertise, resources/supplies and financial support from donors.

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Tech companies are free to pick on any theme and submit.

The themes below will help shape the ideas.

  1. Health: Address and scale a range of health initiatives, including preventative/hygiene behaviours. Especially in at-risk countries and populations. Supporting the frontline health workers, scaling telemedicine, contact tracing/containment strategies, treatment and diagnosis development.
  2. Vulnerable Populations:  These populations mostly include the elderly and the immunocompromised such as access to meals and groceries. As well as supporting those who are losing jobs and income.
  3. Businesses: Problems that businesses are facing to stay afloat, collaborate effectively and move parts of their business online.
  4. Community: Promoting new ways to connect to friends, family, and neighbours. Including ways to combat social isolation and the digitizing of public services for local governments.
  5. Education: Alternative learning environments and tools for students, now that schools have close due to the lockdown. The materials can range from teachers and entire school systems.
  6. Entertainment: Alternatives to traditional forms of entertainment that can keep the talent and audiences a safe and healthy way from panic and fear.


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Val Lukhanyu
Val Lukhanyu
I cover technology news, startups, business and gadget reviews

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