Coronavirus epidemic is currently a worldwide emergency, with around 600,000 infections and more than 25,000 deaths. Millions of Americans have already lost their jobs, and millions are in line to be the next ones to get laid off . Society’s essential service providers like schools, markets, hospitals, police and firefighting agencies have been deeply impacted and any hope for recovery is not yet in sight. Not surprisingly, WHO declared this a global pandemic, and expects more than 60% of the world’s population to get infected in due course.
Clearly, the outbreak isn’t going to subside unless we collectively act to stop this virus. A small effort from each individual can serve as a great boon to researchers who can use these combined efforts to battle the virus. Keeping this in mind, we have prepared a data collecting app which collects small data from each citizen daily and aggregates them to create a large database which can be used to uncover new patterns and insights to track the spread of the virus.
What it does
We have prepared a data collecting app which collects small data from each citizen daily and aggregates them to create a large database which can be used to uncover new patterns and insights to track the spread of the virus. The app works seamlessly and with minimal obstructions in order to save our user’s valuable time, and the recorded data is neatly organised so that researchers can easily access and analyse them.
The survey data consists of answers to 3 simple questions and a fourth detail being the user’s location. These 4 inputs from a multitude of users can be used to map the extent of infection in a region. Continuous monitoring of the data values and its changes gives us an idea as to which direction the virus is spreading, and this inference can be used to erect effective barriers in that direction.
How I built it
Unlike other app development platforms, Unity allowed me to build the software for many different platforms in one go, hence I chose to develop my project in it. I prepared User Interface using a package called TextMeshPro and integrated Firebase's Authentication,Database, and Cloud Messaging features into the app, allowing it to connect the user and the database. The database stores the the information required for analysis and mapping.
Challenges I ran into
The greatest challenge I ran into was the integration of Firebase into my project as I had no experience doing anything like that before. I took help from official video tutorials and the documentation and figured out the best code combinations by experimentation. After several rounds of debugging and testing, I was able to raise the app's quality to perfection, i.e, seamlessness and minimal glitches.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
I am proud that I learnt cloud programming, authentication system and cloud messaging in a short period of time. I am also proud that my skills are being used for the good of humanity in the midst of the crisis we currently are.
What I learned
I learnt that given the dedication and a noble intention, one can push himself/herself upto the extent of outperforming oneself and creating previously unimagined wonders with unfailing persistence and firm commitment.
What's next for TrackCovid- Track the Coronavirus!
I plan to extend the usage of this application even after we successfully overcome this crisis, by aid scientists, police and the government in data collection mechanisms to be used for peaceful and productive purposes. I believe the idea of a daily survey has great potential to unleash utopia in the form of benign management and pioneering insights. By devoting 10 seconds daily, a citizen can help the authorities in a better realisation of existing realities, which is the first step towards a healthier, wealthier and a safer world.