Coronavirus significantly affects human lives and poses a threat to our health and society as a whole. The global threat of the Covid-19 virus motivated and inspired the company Nextsense from Skopje to contribute to joint efforts in the fight against the global pandemic. To support global efforts to stop coronavirus spread, Nextsense has developed contact tracking technology and provides it free of charge to other countries.
Nextsense donated its technology to Northern Macedonia and Hungary, which was implemented in mobile applications for tracking contacts, in addition to the government's measures in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.
Northern Macedonia has implemented the StopKorona! app to track contacts. Additionally, Hungary has launched the VirusRadar mobile app to allow health authorities to identify potentially exposed people more quickly and break the coronavirus transmission chain, preventing a potential new epidemic.
Let's find out more about their contribution from the app's creators.
What was the main motivation of your company to help during the Covid-19 pandemic?
The Covid-19 pandemic we have been facing since the beginning of 2020 has undoubtedly left deep traces on global social and economic trends. In addition to threatening human life, it also hit the business community hard. The crisis has shown that a digital transformation is no longer an option but an essential need for organizations to rise above the challenge. The new working conditions imposed by the pandemic were a strong driver for Nextsense to invest in developing new, innovative solutions to support the community. To this end, we have made an unreserved decision to focus our knowledge and experience on supporting companies, institutions,society to adapt to new circumstances more easily by using modern digital products and tools. That was and still is our primary motivation. Looking back over the past year and a half, we are proud to have implemented many new initiatives and encourage organizations to implement digital solutions that provide real value for growth in these difficult times.
How did you support the community?
According to the corporate strategy for the crisis of 2020, most of our activities were focused on the demonstration of corporate social responsibility and the realization of pro-bono activities. Our ICT expertise has been used to help and support the community by developing a mobile app to monitor Covid-19 exposure, donating medical equipment, and providing solutions that enable companies and organizations to efficiently transform their business from manual and paper to fully digitally, using Nextsens ’numerous solutions for digital transformation.
In the first weeks of the pandemic, in support of all health workers in their selfless commitment to work and to provide the necessary equipment for effective health management, Nextsense donated a mobile color ultrasound Doppler device to the University Clinic for Infectious Diseases and Febrile Conditions.
In a brief period, we have developed and implemented an e-prescription solution for the digital issuance of prescriptions and medicines for the needs of the Health Insurance Fund of Northern Macedonia. During the period of the rapid growth of the pandemic, when a quick response to the needs of the community was of the utmost importance, the enthusiastic team of Nextsense managed to develop the Electronic Curriculum Management System in just 18 hours. The national e-services portal developed by Nextsense has also been upgraded to provide new digital services. The business community, interested in times of crisis, has challenged solutions for digital signing and cooperation with e-documents - NextSense Signing Suite and solutions for e-Government and e-Parliament.
At our initiative, we developed Covid-19 exposure monitoring technology. StopKorona! the mobile app was developed in record time and donated to the Ministry of Health, and shortly afterward, the mobile application VirusRadar was donated to the Hungarian authorities. Last year, for this innovative solution, we received the highest award for innovation on a global scale, the prestigious VITSA ICT Excellence Merit Award for 2020, in the category of the best solutions for dealing with Covid-19. We are incredibly proud that Nextsense technology for tracking exposure with covid is recognized as innovative and awarded the world-famous VITSA award. With this award, our achievements have received worldwide recognition and affirmation on a global scale.
How does contact tracking technology work?
Did you decide to give support on your own initiative, or did you respond to specific calls?
When the world was facing the most challenging global crisis, Nextsense put its resources and expertise in support of the community on its initiative. Through numerous activities through which we have demonstrated high corporate social responsibility, we became recognized as a company that brings digitalization in the country, but also as a company that in times of crisis selflessly helps society with donations and expertise, but also with digitalization solutions to transform their business and take advantage of digitalization. The support to the community was realized entirely on our initiative, in consultation with the institutions and organizations for which the aid was intended. We always listen to the community's voice and react promptly so that our help comes at the right time where it is most needed.
What do you think is the most important thing that companies can currently do for their teams, as well as for the local or wider community?
The crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic has completely changed the way of life but also the way companies and institutions work and provide services. In these complex circumstances for the functioning of the whole society, the support of each of us, both as a company and as an individual, in finding a solution to reduce the consequences of a pandemic is of the utmost importance. We knew without a doubt that now, more than ever, was the time to show solidarity, to share knowledge, experience, and resources.
In terms of team support, the least companies need in these conditions of uncertainty and teleworking or in a hybrid environment is to establish effective communication with their teams, to exchange information and ideas, to find ways to motivate employees further, to work in the atmosphere of support and resilience building, so that we can all more easily deal with the consequences of a pandemic. In this context, we, as a team, work together and dedicatedly to create digital solutions that will facilitate the work of companies and society as a whole. We believe that only with joint support can we overcome this difficult period. Every member of the community has something to provide to the community. Let's do it sooner rather than later. It is our contribution and investment for the future.
Do you think that companies should play a more active role in solving social problems?
Of course, companies have a responsibility and the honor of the opportunity to leave a corporate stamp in society. Investing in new technologies and expertise will not achieve the desired effect if limited to business needs. We create innovative digital solutions to make a significant difference in society through process automation, increasing efficiency and productivity, saving time and resources, and using technology to make services more accessible to all citizens: for those who face obstacles and difficulties, for vulnerable categories and also as a support to provide a cleaner environment for present and future generations – by replacing paperwork with digital.
How does StopKorona! app works?
The application uses Bluetooth to communicate with other users of the application and exchanges encrypted, anonymous data on the distance of all nearby devices, at a distance relevant to the spread of infection, for a limited period in the last 14 days. Suppose the user of the application receives a positive test for Covid-19, issued by the competent authorities. In that case, the Ministry of Health will ask the user of the application to share its records in the application with the Ministry, where the competent authorities will reveal phone numbers and inform persons who were in close contact with a person who is positive for Covid-19, with complete protection of their privacy.
Do you continue to support communities and organizations? Do you plan any other socially responsible projects related to repairing the consequences of the pandemic?
Nextsense is a company that constantly listens to the voice of the community. Our commitment is to help where needed, first in our expertise and then in other areas. We are in constant communication with social actors, and we are sure that we will come up with new innovative solutions that will support the community in the near future. Our most significant focus is digitalization and facilitating the organizations' work to become more competitive, easier to cope with the challenges of the new time, and thus strengthen their capacities. That way, they will be able to employ more young people and earn more income. In the end, the whole society benefits from all this. At Nextsens, we always strive to "paint the bigger picture," produce value for future generations, and be an example and inspiration of supporting the community and building the future.