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Death inspires App creation

ILOILO CITY – The untimely death of a friend with a heart disease inspired young Ilonggo professionals to develop a phone application (App) designed for medical emergency responders in Sta. Barbara town, Iloilo province.

Val Justin Deatras, a 25-year-old law student, told Manila Bulletin/Tempo that the HOPE app recently launched was a proactive effort to save lives in far-flung villages.

During the wake, they were told that emergency responders took too long to bring their friend to the hospital.

At that time, Unilab Foundation was holding its annual Ideas Positive competition.

Deatras and his friends – Rina Malones, AJR Precious Sonza, Dorothy Sonalan, and Cylin Ed Duero – formed Team Y-CARE and joined the competition.

With programmer Keith Villar, they created the phone app that reduces the time of emergency responses for barangay health workers (BHWs) and those at the rural health unit (RHU) from one hour to only 30 minutes.

In 2015, the pilot program initially covered five barangays.

When Team Y-CARE became a national finalist, the regional Department of Health (DoH-6) and Unilab Foundation backed the group to expand the program that now covers 10 barangays. (Tara Yap)