During the Covid-19 pandemic, getting hold of an oxygen tank can mean the difference between life and death for patients with severe symptoms.
Tec de Monterrey graduates and the Tec community have collaborated in the creation and development of Oxígeno, an online platform that provides updated information on the availability of tanks in Mexico City and Monterrey.
The page shows updated information about places where they’re sold, as well as information such as the address, contact number, availability, and what type of payments they accept. Oxygen suppliers can also sign up for verification.
The web also explains how to identify a fraudulent offer online, so that users don’t fall prey to scams.
The idea came from Naoli García, the undergraduate medical intern at the National Polytechnic Institute (IPN) who founded the project and coordinates it, and Tec de Monterrey graduates Daniel Pérez, the page’s web developer, and Uri Goldberg Kleiman, the project development advisor.
Mijael Gutiérrez and Mauro Herrera, Director and Professor of Music Production at the Santa Fe Campus, are also currently involved, as well as Diana Urquiza, Director of Music Production at the Mexico City Campus.
Ixchel García, Alicia Sandoval, Misael Arce, Abril Gutiérrez, Marco Reyes, and Eduardo Ríos are involved as volunteers, as are Tec graduates Alexis Guerrero, Alexis Piña, and Lorenzo Adrián.
“I’m very happy to be able to provide an alternative during the current health crisis through a collaborative approach. I really like public health. This is an opportunity to put it into practice. It allows people to have easy access to information, which can be difficult if you don’t have technological skills. We all have the right to be able to meet our health needs or those of our relatives,” Naoli said.
A serious panorama
An increase in infections and hospital bed saturation in Mexico have caused difficulties with acquiring oxygen tanks. This has left people without an option or at risk of falling prey to fraud.
According to information from the federal government, companies with permits to produce medical oxygen from the Federal Commission for the Protection against Sanitary Risks (COFEPRIS) have reported a 700% nationwide increase in demand for this supply.
According to its creators, the Oxygen project was born with the intention of users having this information at hand, to know with certainty where to go to obtain oxygen.
“It’s not just a directory for people to call and ask, but for them to know estimated availability or if there’s the option to refill tanks,” explained Mijael Gutiérrez.
Initiatives that play a part in serving and contributing to society
According to Professor Gutiérrez, the biggest challenge for the project is updating information on availability, since oxygen runs out quickly and they don’t want people going to a place that’s marked as available and not finding it.
“It started with a group of five volunteers, but the Tec students joined later. We’ve also had support from the Information Technology department, who are helping to develop a new version of the website that’ll be much more interactive. We’re especially grateful to the Rector for Undergraduate Studies, Juan Pablo Murra, who’s given us full support for whatever we need,” Mijael and Naoli added.
For them, the greatest satisfaction is being able to help people find medical oxygen for patients more quickly.
“A lot of people are already starting to consult the page. Even the stores and companies themselves are starting to get in touch to update their inventories,” said Mijael.
Finally, Mijael said that the Tec is always willing to participate in initiatives like these that play a part in serving and contributing to society, especially in such difficult times as this pandemic.
“We’ve started with Mexico City, which is the most affected city at the moment, but we want to expand in the following weeks to Monterrey, Guadalajara, Puebla, and other cities with a high increase in demand. The national presence that we have at the Tec will help to make this possible,” he concluded.
The team invites the community to visit and share its official page for those who require information on medical oxygen: https://oxigeno.cc/