After Libya, Speetar telehealth startup now determined to fight COVID-19 in Pakistan

This doctor’s app is helping Libya triage its coronavirus patients, will it do the same for Pakistan?

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Speetar, a telehealth startup based in Libya, is hoping to build on the success that its state-of-the-art telemedicine has achieved in the country, to fight the coronavirus in Pakistan.

The platform, which links health professionals with patients in their home region who understand their language and context, is now being used to help triage cases in Libya’s fight against the coronavirus. The app helps decide who needs to go to the clinic and who should continue to self-isolate at home.

Speetar’s platform can be utilized not only to ramp up Pakistan’s fight against the coronavirus pandemic but also to battle other infectious diseases in the country, such as dengue and polio.

Speetar’s aim is to use telehealth to improve healthcare facilities, especially in a country like Libya, which is crushed between a civil war and a pandemic. Due to this feature, Speetar can be used to reach the most deprived areas of Pakistan, such as Tharparkar, Balochistan, and areas of the former FATA.

Co-founded by Shoaib Akmal, Zohaib Akmal, and Asim Ajmal from Pakistan and Dr. Muhammed Aburawi from Libya, the app has been the main platform between the government and citizens in Libya during the coronavirus.

A social enterprise, Speetar was incubated at Harvard Medical School’s SICI (Social Innovation and Change Initiative), MIT Sandbox Innovation Fund, and the Libyan Ministry of Health. At MIT, Speetar also received a $USD 20,000 grant.

CEO Speetar Aburawi wants to potentially make Speetar available throughout the world. “We’re using Libya as a launchpad, now we are in talks to expand in Pakistan and Egypt,” he said. Speetar is currently in the talks with the Pakistani federal and provincial governments and private entities to roll out the solution locally and support the country’s fight against the pandemic.

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