PROJECT MOSES, a health dashboard, aims to address misconceptions and streamline information for Filipinos seeking answers to their coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) concerns.

Apart from its news aggregator feature, the website also includes a self-assessment tool and a hospital directory. All data in Project Moses is open to the public. “It is important to have open data accessible to the public so people can become well-informed and not ill-informed citizens,” said Rejiel “Rage” A. Gonzales, chief executive officer of Bridge360, the social technology enterprise that created the dashboard. “It helps researchers and other app developers build on the ideas of others.”

“Back in March 2020, information about COVID-19 was all over the place. Myths and fake news had been spreading,” she added. “We are trying to create a platform that we hope could streamline information and processes.”  

Started solely as a news aggregator, it was named Project Moses because of the company’s collaboration with Catholic Media Network, a network of Catholic radio and television stations.

To scale up the platform, Bridge360 had to join contests to get funding. It won first prize from Stat Zero, an impact investor in Silicon Valley, as well as second prize in Australia’s HackForBetterDays, in partnership with Here Technologies.

But Project Moses’s bigger ambitions are on the back burner for reasons outside the dashboard developers’ control. The platform wanted to help local government units streamline the transfer of COVID-19 patients from Level I hospitals (which aren’t required to have intensive care units) to hospitals with better facilities.

“We consulted several doctors and even collaborated with the Office of the Vice-President to see which hospitals we can onboard there. We were able to present Project Moses with the Philippine General Hospital and Lung Center,” Ms. Gonzales said. “Unfortunately, streamlining hospital transfers from one hospital to another was such a big vision. There were too many factors.”

The World Health Organization and the Department of Health also have online resources that individuals can peruse for accurate information. — Patricia B. Mirasol