Strict containment measures due to the recent outbreak have greatly stressed the national economies, especially small local businesses like restaurants and coffee shops and entertainments. Due to the lack of effective vaccine and cure, this situation may remain for many months given that there could be second and third waves, the outbreak has not started in Africa, and COVID may reappear next year at a smaller scale (like flu). While there is a pressure to reopen the businesses, the lack of a platform for large-scale monitoring of the COVID-safety measures of local businesses complicates the process. Therefore, it is of paramount importance to find sustainable and easy-to-use monitoring solutions while opening local businesses. Such a solution would help individuals to stay safe while supporting local businesses, governments to reopen the economy and travel industry, and public health authorities to contain the virus spread.
GetSafe is a cross-platform app. GetSafe enables local businesses to self-report on what safety and sanitary facilities they have and whether they follow recommendations of public health authorities for COVID. Our app then verifies the reports by crowd reporting of the users visiting those places. The data provides a safety rank for those places, visualized on a map.
What you have done during the weekend
We have consolidated the idea and validated it with a small customer survey. We then developed a prototype for the app, both admin and user dashboards, and implemented them. The app is very easy-to-use with minimal input (less than a minute) from the user. We are proud of the achievements of our team, given the very limited time and all the challenges.
Challenges we ran into
There were challenges that we faced that were very unique, as we faced a variety of communication platforms on top of open-source development tools. Online Discord workspaces and Zoom meetings and webinars presented challenges in forms of inactive team members, cross-communications, and information bombardment in several separate threads and channels in Discord and online meetings of strangers that are coordinated across different time zones.
The solution’s impact on the crisis
We believe that GetSafe would help many local businesses to restart and have a more effective risk communication with users. This is of paramount importance due to the high stress on the community and local businesses. Moreover, crowd monitoring would provide a powerful tool to help the government and health authorities to open the communities while controlling the spread and avoiding the second wave.
The value of your solution(s) after the crisis
The quarantine conditions and strict isolation policies may still be in place for upcoming months and year, as the outbreak is not reported to occur yet in Africa, the potential arrival of second and third waves, and possible COVID-19 reappearance next year at a smaller scale (like seasonal flu) Therefore, we believe that GetSafe is a sustainable solution and remains very valuable after the current COVID-19 crisis. Additionally more aspects of sustainable development goals of businesses can potentially get verified through this platform including gender equality, water sanitation, and labor condition.