GUARDIANS OF HEALTH APPLICATION

Developed for mobiles, tablets, and personal computers, the “Guardians of Health” app is part of an initiative by the Brazilian Ministry of Health, in partnership with the U.S.-based NGO Skoll Global Threats Fund. It is designed to assess the potential of mobile apps to strengthen the detection of public health emergencies and outbreaks within the Sistema Único de Saúde [Brazilian Unified Healthcare System] (SUS), particularly during major events, such as the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

This strategy builds on another project launched by the same organization, entitled “Saúde na Copa”, launched exclusively during the 2014 FIFA Brazil World Cup®, which yielded promising results. These results encouraged both institutions to develop a new strategy for the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

This updated version of the Guardians of Health app is available for Apple iOS and Google Android operating systems, as well as on the https://guardioesdasaude.org/website.

Initially developed in Portuguese, this version of the “Guardians of Health” app is also available in all of the official languages of the United Nations. It is provided as a tool to assist Brazilians and foreign visitors to Brazil, particularly those traveling to the host cities of the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Only users over the age of 13 can participate in this initiative. In addition, users must read and accept the “Terms of Use” before signing up and fill out the simplified registration form, providing a nickname, email address, date of birth, race/color, gender, and password. Participation is voluntary and confidential, and all personal information disclosed is duly protected by Law No. 12.527, dated November 18, 2011.

Project results will be used for health surveillance purposes across all Brazilian States and Municipalities, in order to detect and prevent public health emergencies and outbreaks by adopting proper prevention and control measures. The project’s results will be presented as aggregated and anonymized data, describing the health profiles of users based on the information provided by them.

VOLUNTARY PARTICIPATION 

Your participation is entirely voluntary and a valuable contribution towards promoting health surveillance in Brazil. Reporting your health condition shall not be interpreted as a medical consultation and does not ensure special access to health care services. In addition, participants will never be contacted via email or any other means by any healthcare service or professional to obtain such information.

Text messages can be sent to participants through Push Notification technology, containing health information or instructions from health surveillance agencies.

It is important to point out that you should immediately seek out the nearest healthcare service or physician if you are not feeling well. The app provides a shortcut to a preset search of healthcare services and drugstores near you, based on your mobile phone’s Google Maps geolocation service. This feature is not part of the app. Therefore, you will be redirected to your mobile phone’s map application. We recommend caution when transiting through unknown areas and avoiding areas of risk. Contact local public agencies for more information.

The app provides useful phone numbers, including SAMU (Emergency Mobile Ambulance Service), which is a 24/7 toll-free number providing emergency health care services for trauma, clinical, pediatric, surgical, gynecological, and mental health cases in households, workplaces, and public roads.

The app provides useful phone numbers, including SAMU (Emergency Mobile Ambulance Service), which is a 24/7 toll-free number providing emergency health care services for trauma, clinical, pediatric, surgical, gynecological, and mental health cases in households, workplaces, and public roads.

  • Actively participating in health surveillance efforts to prevent disease outbreaks in communities;
  • Quick access to public service contact information without altering your phonebook;
  • Easy access to useful information on health and disease prevention measures;
  • Amenities such as a preset search of Emergency Care Units and drugstores nearby (20-km radius) in Google Maps;
  • Following the project results at the website: www.guardioesdasaude.org;

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE APP 

The “Guardians of Health” app is free and available for iOS and Android operating systems, as well as Internet browsers. Users can choose from one of the several free Wi-Fi hotspots available in various cities or use their own mobile data packages to use the app.

Phone calls to public services listed in the app may be subject to additional phone charges. Contact your mobile carrier for more information before using this feature. This service cannot be used if the mobile’s phone feature is disabled. This information applies, particularly to foreign users.

ABOUT THE PARTNERSHIP

This pioneering initiative was conceived by the Health Surveillance Agency of the Brazilian Health Ministry, in partnership with the host cities of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. The Skoll Global Threats Fund is responsible for all contracting and software development expenses, duly supervised by the Brazilian Association of Field Epidemiology Professionals (ProEpi), both of which are non-profit Non-Governmental Organizations focused on improving health surveillance activities in Brazil and around the world.

ProEpi is responsible for ensuring that all requirements established by the Ministry of Health and Skoll Global Threats Fund are met, as per project specifications: confidentiality of user information, transparency and disclosure of public results, and availability of the source code and respective documentation in free-access download environments, adequacy and use of applications by healthcare services in Brazil and other countries, while preserving the non-profit nature of such an endeavor.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 

The organizing institutions would like to thank all participants, health professionals, and managers of the Brazilian Unified Healthcare System for putting their trust in the pilot project and supporting such an unprecedented initiative in the global health space.

Special thanks to the Departments of Health of the Host Cities of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (Belo Horizonte, Distrito Federal, Manaus, Rio de Janeiro, Salvador, and São Paulo.)