How are Web and App Developers Combatting COVID-19?
Updated: May 11
App and Web designers are likely to play an increasingly important role in the fight against Coronavirus.
There’s no doubt that the coronavirus outbreak has had a dramatic impact on regions and nations across the globe, with more than 900,000 cases and more than 45,000 fatalities recorded worldwide (at the last count at least). While the current situation is liable to get worse before it gets better, the introduction of social distancing measures is at least helping to slow the rate of infection and protect those in society who are most vulnerable. Across the globe, we’re also seeing immense and collaborative efforts to deal with the threat posed by the COVID-19 virus, with app and website developers among those mobilising to create new and technology-led ways of dealing with the crisis.
How are Developers Leading the Charge?
Most of the tools currently being cultivated by app and web designers are focused on tracking the spread of the virus, with the underlying goal being to identify and reduce the spread of coronavirus. These tools are largely focused on web apps, which can leverage mobile network location data to potentially track the spread of the pandemic in real-time and the movements of infected people over a sustained period. One proposal, which was put forward by infectious disease experts from Oxford University’s Big Data Institute (BDI), works on the premise that if a sufficiently large number of people installed a dedicated COVID-19 contact-tracing app on their phones, their precise movements could be tracked via GPS, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth.
In this instance, the technology could be used to detect any person who has crossed paths with someone who has contracted coronavirus, so that they can be instantly contacted for testing and self-isolation. Beyond this, the app could also track future interactions and potentially identify others who may be at risk of contracting COVID-19, allowing for further, targeted testing and additional plans for self-isolation.
What Other Projects are in the Pipeline?
This example is typical of most projects currently being conceived, with charting and reducing the spread of the virus of paramount importance at present.
However, several additional projects are also in the pipeline, with examples ranging from chatbots and data visualisation software to tools that will help self-employed people claim financial relief.
Many of these apps are being made available across mobile and desktop platforms, to guarantee their accessibility throughout the world.
This is also evidence of an increasingly integrated response being proposed by developers, with individual smartphone and web apps being developed as part of a wider strategy that tackles a host of issues synonymous with COVID-19.
Not only will this allow for the tracking of infected individuals and the development of a more strategic approach with regards to future testing, but it also ensures that people can fulfill their basic needs during periods of self-isolation and maintain a steady flow of income during the pandemic. Even on a fundamental level, app and web developers are playing a key role in the bid to combat COVID-19, not least because tools and sites are being revamped to provide information on the outbreak. This includes company sites, many of which are creating online blogs, newsletters, and hubs to help employees cope with the physical, mental and socio-economic effects of the virus.
Over time, such developers are likely to play an increasingly important role in the fight against COVID-19, both directly and in how information is delivered to citizens across the globe.
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