PM lauds Amber Group’s contribution to COVID-19 response
The Government of Jamaica (GOJ) through a public-private partnership with Amber Group (Amber) has created a single, simple-to-use interface (web and mobile app) for a wide cross section of information and public support mechanisms related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The solution ‘jamcovid19’, accessible on both the Internet and via mobile apps, was launched as a comprehensive and interactive solution to help address the complex and far-reaching challenges facing the GOJ as a result of the global pandemic.
As part of the national response efforts, the Office of the Prime Minister and the Ministry of Health and Wellness sought to create an extensive health management, information and public support technology platform to address COVID-19. The goal was to enable the Government to centrally develop, manage and disseminate information imperative to ‘flattening the curve’ while bringing together COVID-19-related activities of multiple ministries and other stakeholders on one platform. This means that Jamaicans can now access health, immigration, security and social assistance related to the pandemic through a single platform.
To achieve this vision and enhance the existing response protocol, Prime Minister Andrew Holness enlisted the support of Amber, a technology conglomerate based in Jamaica. Amber was able to build the applications utilising resources from among its 200 dedicated in-house developers to update and expand the Government’s existing capabilities in record time. The solution was fully developed and operationalised in just two weeks.
In keeping with its philosophy of enabling the greater public good through the use of technology, Amber provided this innovative COVID-19 IT-response solution at no cost to the Government.
Holness stated: “Jamcovid19 represents the Government’s centralised source of information and tools to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. It provides useful data analytics and insights and includes the online application for controlled re-entry. The app symbolises the value to be derived from public-private partnerships and the Government of Jamaica applauds Amber for this important contribution. We will continue to work together as a nation to overcome COVID-19.”
“We are proud that we were able to be of service to the Government and people of Jamaica”, said Dushyant Savadia, group founder and CEO of Amber. “As we observed the growing impact of the pandemic, we knew that we had to get involved and support the national effort in a significant way. Since developing innovative solutions is at the heart of our business, building this comprehensive IT solution was a natural contribution for us.” According to Savadia, “I am grateful that through this partnership with the Government of Jamaica, we are able to ‘live’ up to our philosophy of enabling the greater social good through the development and adoption of technology.”
The interactive features of the website and app include:
• Real-time COVID-19 country and global analytics
• Knowledge resources on COVID-19
• Digital self-assessment and reporting tool for citizens
• COVID-19 testing appointment booking system at government testing locations which enables citizens to do a self-assessment and choose location, date and time for testing.
• Controlled re-entry immigration module that allows Jamaican residents stranded overseas to apply for a travel authorisation.
• Help feature to provide citizens with one click dialling access to police, medical, senior citizen assistance, disabled assistance and assistance for victims of gender-based violence.
“The management and staff of Amber are happy to be able to provide foresight, time and resources to develop this innovative solution to enable the Government of Jamaica to better manage the incidences of COVID-19 within their borders,” said Michael McNaughton, group managing director of Amber. He goes on to state that, “As a global company, Amber has been getting first-hand updates on the impact of the pandemic through numerous partners touch points across the world and is happy to be able to provide this innovative tool to assist in the fight against COVID-19.”
Amber operates in 22 countries, including India, Africa, the US, Canada and the Caribbean, with businesses such as Amber Connect (vehicle tracking and fleet management); Amber Pay (QR code payments and rewards solutions for merchants and customers); Amber Fuels (a complete digitisation solution for fuel forecourt payments and rewards); Amber Aura (an intelligent home and building automation solution), with a subsidiary, Amber Innovations, being their software development arm which enjoys a large base of clients across the world developing enterprise software solutions for financial institutions, distribution companies, governments, retail industries, and more.