There are not few challenges the world is facing today in the prevention and mitigation of the COVID-19 pandemic, challenges that Medellín assumes faithful to its vocation to be a resilient and an innovative city. Working in coordination with the  public and private sectors providing a citizenry that thanks to its high sense of belonging shows self-care and solidarity.

Different media around the world, such as The Economist, have highlighted Medellín’s efforts to flatten the COVID-19 contagion curve more than has been done in Latin America having a fatality rate of less than 1%. What are the innovations that have led one of the main Colombian cities to maintain such positive indicators in the face of the global pandemic?   

Medellín Me Cuida

   Thanks to this technological solution initially created by the Mayor’s Office of Medellín to provide aid to the neediest families, – currently using fourth-generation tools such as Big Data, it creates and sustains epidemiological barriers that help keep contagion rates low.

This is also possible due to the important management of the Ministry of Health that complements the data collected with that of the National Public Health Surveillance System (Sivigila) obtained from different medical consultations in the IPS and complemented with the Health phone line 123.   

Innovate for life

   The Mayor’s Office of Medellín and Ruta N, the center of innovation and business of Medellín, created a website which through donations, four important fronts in the prevention and mitigation of the pandemic are addressed: Massification of diagnostic tests for early detection COVID-19, applications, platforms and data tools at the service of public health, such as ventilators and respirators, open source: InnspiraMED and strengthening of hospital capacities with elements of provision and protection for health personnel and patients.

To make a contribution to any of the solutions of this important articulated strategy, visit the website https://innovaporlavida.org/   

Mechanical fans ¨Made in Medellín¨

   Different universities in the city in association with Ruta N, have created prototypes of mechanical fans or ventilators at a much lower cost than other much more complex machines could cost, an innovation highlighted by important media such as the Wall Street Journal.

Currently, despite the fact that it still does not have the certification of the National Institute for Food and Drug Surveillance (Invima), supported by Law 23 of 1981 on medical ethics, fans can be used in emergencies, as long as you have the consent of the patient or the family.

In fact, in the last week, 350 health professionals from different parts of the country were trained to operate the low-cost mechanical ventilators created in Medellín.   

Other innovations

   

Protection masks and diagnostic tests

   The University Institution Colegio Mayor de Antioquia and the Instituto Tecnológico Metropolitano de Medellín ITM, have donated to departments across the country more than 1,000 face protection masks created in their 3D laboratories; masks and intubation booths in acrylic material that are considered vital for medical personnel in the care of critically ill coronavirus patients.

Medellín recently received 30,000 diagnostic tests for COVID-19 which will contribute positively to the control of the contagion curve through the creation of more epidemiological barriers.   

Mercados Campesinos is today ¨Local shopping¨

   The program seeks to benefit rural families in the five adjacent towns of Medellín and was included in the Mayor’s Development plan ‘Local shopping’ which was previously called ‘Campesino Markets’.

Through the Local Shopping platform it is possible to buy products that come mostly from the traditional ‘Mercados Campesinos’ as well as from local businesses of handicrafts, flowers, sweets and traditional desserts, among others.   Also read: Planning your next trip to Colombia: a new tourist destination. 🚀