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UNICEF and EPAM partner to build trusted ‘HealthBuddy COVID-19’ information platform

UNICEF and EPAM partner to build trusted ‘HealthBuddy COVID-19’ information platform

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UNICEF and EPAM partner to build trusted ‘HealthBuddy COVID-19’ information platform

EPAM Systems, a leading global provider of digital platform engineering and software development services, is pleased to announce it has entered into a partnership with UNICEF ECARO to build a multi-featured ‘HealthBuddy COVID-19’ information app designed to protect children, families and communities across Europe and Central Asia.  Merging the common features and functions of EPAM’s COVID Resistance app with UNICEF ECARO’s interactive web-based HealthBuddy chatbot app, EPAM has engineered a new platform that enables users to access trusted information while promoting protective and preventive behaviours at the individual and community levels during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

“Reaching children, young people and parents in the region with reliable and accurate messages about COVID-19 is an important part of addressing the myths and countering the misinformation around the pandemic,” said Afshan Khan, UNICEF’s Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia.  “We welcome this partnership with EPAM to enhance the HealthBuddy chatbot app’s features, services and versatility.  We also appreciate EPAM’s commitment to work with UNICEF in the pandemic response, as we continuously strive to protect every child.”

Currently available in English, Greek, Italian, Kazakh, Macedonian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and Turkish, the ‘HealthBuddy COVID-19’ chatbot can be tailored by national authorities and public health institutions in local languages and utilised for a wide range of potential public health emergencies or for promoting life-saving behaviours like vaccination in the future.  Below are just a few of its features and uses:

  • The general public can receive public health messages and information, share opinions, report rumours, ask questions to public health workers, participate in surveys/polls at different stages of the pandemic, to assess the secondary impact of COVID-19 and use self-assessment tools to prevent the spread of Coronavirus.
  • Health authorities can send alerts regarding those who confirm or suspect they have the virus, with opt-in and opt-out features for exposure notification to help in real time monitoring of the situation.
  • Health workers can access a knowledge library for information on how to manage cases, get alerts for new developments, medicines and best practices and utilise exposure notification tools to monitor infected cases when the exposure notification feature is deployed.  By having access to updated information and people’s concerns/sentiments about COVID-19, at different stages of the pandemic, health workers will be better equipped to interact and communicate with families and communities with relevant and timely messages.

“We are proud to be a part of UNICEF’s collaborative effort to protect children and families,” said Arkadiy Dobkin, CEO, EPAM Systems. “COVID-19 is a difficult virus to track, as many individuals who are contagious do not show symptoms and many regions are faced with a lack of conclusive testing or unclear guidance, which makes it more likely for the contagion to spread. By merging, adapting and expanding the combined features of our applications, we are enabling a platform that can provide critical, up-to-date information and help control the spread of the virus.”

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