The COVID-19 pandemic is an emerging, rapidly evolving situation for which social distancing measures are implemented as a core component of the response. Social distancing is recommended for persons of all ages to slow the spread of the virus, protect the health care system from being overloaded, and protect people of older age and persons of any age with serious underlying medical conditions. Currently, only essential businesses are open and many, such as grocery stores and pharmacies, have trouble managing their crowds and queues, becoming a point of social distancing failure. This is a problem now and it will become a bigger problem since the lockdown is unsustainable for the economy, and businesses will soon have to reopen.
The solution we bring to the table
We created SkipCrowds, a tool that enables businesses and people to work together towards less crowd formation in spaces such as grocery stores, pharmacies, malls, etc. ensuring effective and efficient social distancing. Also a tool like this is essential for preventing future outbreaks.
SkipCrowds integrates Mobile, android and ios, and Web solutions covering people who intentionally would skip crowded places and people who do not pay attention to social distancing. How? SkipCrowds tracks crowds by allowing clients to "check-in” to the store with the use of QR code scanning while they are waiting in line or entering the location. The user is then checked-in for an estimated duration of the visit. SkipCrowd users at home can check how crowded different spaces are at that moment and may reserve specific check-in times to let others know when they plan to go to the store! This solution allows real-time tracking of crowds while maintaining privacy, does not require any app downloads, and is ready to be implemented at stores today.
What you have done during the weekend
- Found mentor for strategy and business
- Got in contact with tv stations in Macedonia to get the idea promoted in live tv
- New Pitch
- Android app: geolocation added and app added on Test track in Google play
- IOS app implement key feature: Identify crowds around on the map
- Backend: Registration and login added, traffic light logic added.
- New cities information added Montreal, Belgrade, Madrid, Barcelona, Prague, London, Stockholm, Napoli, Rome, Milan (plus considering the previous 5 cities Skopje, Vienna, Toronto, Vancouver, Saskatoon) reaching 15 cities
- Website small changes and contact form added
- QR code in store(s)
- Android app tested by users 1 to 5 in Vienna, Milan, Rome, Napoli, Madrid, Barcelona, Stockholm, Belgrade, London, Prague
The solution’s impact to the crisis
SkipCrowds aids people, businesses, cities and countries to apply the recommendations of WHO, CDC, ECDC about Social distancing and with that it has a direct impact on the prevention of a second, third or fourth outbreak. SkipCrowds saves lives by directly helping in flattening the curve and easing the health care system from being overloaded, and by protecting older adults and persons with serious underlying medical conditions. That is not all. Our surveys have shown that more than 80 percent of people are concerned that they will contract the virus in crowded places. SkipCrowds will allow ease of mind in this difficult time where we are all more psychologically vulnerable.
The necessities in order to continue the project
Finding government support, sponsors, partners, promoters and influences is a big challenge at the moment. We find this to be a key point that will enable the solution to reach its full potential. Secondary additional development power, both on the software and business side, would also be welcomed.
The value of your solution(s) after the crisis
Post-pandemic, this tool can be pivoted to help local businesses, Shopping malls, Banks, Fairs and etc. to better serve customers. Busy parents and workers can skip crowds and avoid queues and essentially save time when going to locations. The solution even may help emergency rooms and walk-in urgent care clinics better disperse their patients to reduce waiting times for everyone!
Our past 2 week adventure
During "The Global Hack" the following was achieved : New team was formed that never worked together as such. Main strength of the group is its multi functional coverage having a backend, front end and android developers, and medical, product, project, customer and partner relations management expertise.
In the 48h hours the goal was: 1). to have an MVP, a simple and basic solution ready to go live with web soution and android application 2). gather customer validation feedback to gather additional needed features or remove some 3). contact potential partners to help us with promoting the usage of the app. We found out that the MVP is a stretch and we ended up with a prototype. We did 750 customer surveys in 15+ countries and we contacted 3 potential partners.
During "Together vs Virus" the following was achieved: 1). New IOS developer joined and development of the IOS application has started 2). Team reorganized and worked on MVP backlog refinement and organisation with additional Trello boards, creating clarity on how we continue for the future 3). Outlined what we can reuse from the prototype 4). Created the website homepage
Our next steps
We will continue focusing on local grocery stores and pharmacies in Montreal, Austria and North Macedonia, while exploring all the other cities we have tested. As other non-essential businesses open, we plan to expand to reach other high-influx spaces. On development side our backlog contains more shining features, like service to the public health system for early information and prevention. In order to scale the solution finding funds for operational costs would be fantastic, for example aws costs and google services costs.