Ashoka Fellow Kongiat Kespechara is an internist and the founder of Hospital OS, whose open-source management software for hospitals and clinics is in use around the world. He is also the CEO of Bangkok Hospital Eastern Group. As Covid-19 spreads across Thailand, he is raising an army of volunteers to prepare the health infrastructure for the battle of a lifetime.
Epidemiologists helped us analyze the pattern of the outbreak and came up with a predictive model for Thailand, pointing to a looming crisis.
We created our own world, separate from the government’s policy debates, press conferences, and daily updates. We are only interested in practical solutions. We set up a Facebook group called Thai Co Care—Co meaning collaborative. People of all backgrounds began to volunteer.
We also developed apps to make the quarantine and reporting processes easier. Self-quarantine was cumbersome, requiring several phone calls and reports daily. We invented an app for self-reporting that feeds into a central dashboard.
Using Facebook, we created a video course on personal protection and patient management. It got 300,000 views in two days. We offered refresher courses for nurses on subjects like operating ventilators.
We started a blood drive. Hospitals must continue to care for non-virus cases, like traffic accidents, workplace injuries, cancer, so we have to collect blood before infection is widespread. We’ve created a dashboard for the Ministry of Health to see the real-time status of every bed in the country dedicated to coronavirus patients. We produced it in three days.