- The team is willing to present the system to the Government for free
- Through this app officials would be able to have a database of those who have been exposed
- The app is still being upgraded with new features
“Isolation” has become a word we are used to hearing in the news. With the detection of patients from various areas, the current system in place is to ‘isolate’ the specific areas. But, what if that can be changed? What if there was something that could help track those who have been exposed to COVID- 19 and are in quarantine? That was the question the Rotaract Club of University of Kelaniya sought to find answers to.
Efficient and convenient
“The Rotary District 3220, with the support of Rotaract District 3220, initiated a project ‘Stop the Spread’ and we decided to make an app that could track those who have been exposed to COVID- 19,” stated Rtr. Nipuna Rambukkanage, the President of the club. Explaining further about the app, he stated that the apps would be beneficial for the Public Health Officers (PHIs) and those in quarantine. “Currently, when people are in quarantine, the PHIs visit them. But this could even expose the PHIs to the virus. Also, when some people are infected, the whole area is under isolation. This can be inconvenient. That’s why we developed this system, so this process could be more efficient and convenient,” said Rambukkanage. He also added that through this app, the officials would be able to have a database of those who have been exposed, aiding in efficient contact- tracing.
The team of developers comprised Rtr. Nipuna Rambukkanage, Rtr. Chinthaka Kasun, Rtr. Nethmi Fonseka, Rajika Upasena, Amesh Jayaweera, Rtr. Ruwin Ratnayake, Rtr. Kisal Ekanayake, Rtr. Sahan Silva, Rtr. Nipuna Ratnayake, Sahan Amarsha, Pulsara Sandeepa and Praneeth Vithanage.
We’ve hardly met each other, but we managed to complete this app even with our hectic schedules - Rtr. Ruwin Ratnayake
The team started developing that app in mid-July and the app is still being upgraded with new features. The club plans to launch it soon with Government approval. The team also included Non-Rotaractors from University of Moratuwa and University of Kelaniya.
Talking to Daily Mirror, Amesh Jayaweera, an undergraduate at the University of Moratuwa, shared that there were two apps; the app for the PHIs and the app for those who have been exposed or suspected to have been exposed.
“Using the location feature on the phone, this app can track the movements of those in quarantine and notify the PHI if they have gone out.
This occurs in real time. Even when the location is off, the PHIs are notified. This app also has the ability to run in the background,” he explained. The app currently has features like food delivery and delivery of essentials. “But we are planning on including new features such as a feature that would help people to contact and notify a health official if they are not feeling well, feature to aid in bill payments etc,” stated Rtr. Ruwin Ratnayake, the UI/UX developer from SLIIT. He also added that the app was designed with a user- friendly interface that is easily accessible even for people with visual disabilities.
Project Team Photo (Collage)
Top Row From Left:
Rtr. Nipuna Rambukkanage, Rtr. Chinthaka Kasun, Rtr. Nethmi Fonseka, Rajika Upasena, Amesh Madhubhashitha Jayaweera, Ruwin Ratnayake
Bottom Row From Left:
Rtr. Kisal Ekanayake, Rtr. Sahan Silva, Rtr. Nipuna Ratnayake, Sahan Amarsha, Pulsara Sandeepa, Praneeth Vithanage
The journey of ‘Track the Spread’
The project chair, Rtr. Chinthaka Kasun, was the brainchild of the software. Kasun along with Kelum Tharaka from the University of Moratuwa developed the basic software for this app. This was later developed further by the team led by Jayaweera. The graphical user interface was developed by Ratnayake.
He shared that due to the current pandemic, the development of this app was done online. “We’ve hardly met each other, but we managed to complete this app even with our hectic schedules,” said Ratnayake.
Rambukkanage stated that working on this app gave him the opportunity to identify young talented software developers. Jayaweera echoed similar sentiments. He added that he found it challenging to ensure the app ran in the background. The developers had worked on this app voluntarily and had received the necessary support and advice from Rtn. Dr. Rohantha Athukorala, Rtn. Dr. Dammika Adikariwattage, Rtn. Sulochana Vanniyasinkam, Rtn. Vishwa Lokugamage, Rtn. Hasitha Jayamaha, Rtr. Thisura Ramanayaka and Rtr. Damindri Herath, and Rtn. Rtr. Kasun Sigera, the District Representative for Rotaract District 3220.
The team started developing that app in mid-July and the app is still being upgraded with new features. The club plans to launch it soon with Government approval. The team also included Non-Rotaractors from University of Moratuwa and University of Kelaniya
After upgrading, the team plans to launch the app soon. “We would also like to meet the authorities and Government officials to discuss further about the app and add in more features which would make it more convenient for the authorities,” stated Rambukkanage adding that the app was compatible with iOS and Android systems.
He also added that they were willing to present the system to the Government for free. “We also want to distribute it among the community at no cost, as we did this only aiming for the betterment of the community,” he added. However, the team is currently on a look out for more volunteers to help further develop the app and contribute to this project.
Those interested can reach out to Rtr. Nipuna Rambukkanage, President of the Rotaract Club of University of Kelaniya-