(Panama City-ANPanama) Panama’s automated assistant Rosa is another indicator of Panama’s rapid response in dealing with COVID-19. Panama quickly developed and launched ROSA in March, and it is immediately proving to be another effective measure to contain the advance of the Coronavirus by helping to detect cases at an early stage, which is key to mitigating contagion and mortality.
The Ministry of Health (MINSA) and the Government Innovation Authority (AIG) have created ROSA for people who believe they are symptomatic for COVID-19. ROSA helps diagnosis symptoms and determine who needs to receive testing as well as medical or ambulatory assistance.
The ROSA virtual platform (Automatic Health Operative Response, https://rosa.innovacion.gob.pa) is a digital office that can be used via WhatsApp (+507 6997 2539) or by dialing 169 while in Panama.
Individuals who contact ROSA via WhatsApp are asked a series of questions to determine if they need to be attended by a doctor immediately or can self-quarantine for the time being. This in turn can also help determine if the person needs assistance from a rapid response team at home or if he or she needs ambulatory assistance.
The second way to reach ROSA is through the 169 call center, which, after asking the patient a series of questions, considers whether it is necessary to be seen by one of the doctors on the platform.
Rolando Luque, the coordinator of emergency operations for the Ministry of Health (MINSA), explained that it is important for the population to know the difference between ROSA and 911. For example:
Rosa – Line 169 and via Whatsapp: Provides automated information regarding COVID-19 in Panama and creates a database of individuals reporting symptoms and/or exposure, provides immediate automated feedback to users, and processes the information received to triage care including sending rapid response teams (usually consisting of a doctor, a nurse, and a police officer) or an ambulance to those needing immediate care and assistance.
911 Emergency line: used by critically ill patients who need an ambulance immediately.
Workers in the MINSA call center are also in charge of monitoring individuals who are under epidemiological observation because they may have received exposure to COVID-19 while travelling. They make two to three calls a day to check-in on these individuals and monitor symptoms.
The general administrator of the AIG, Luis Oliva, reported that in one 72 hour period of operation of the ROSA platform, 8,800 people were attended via WhatsApp and 1,200 via telephone.