Connecting with others while in self-isolation has been one of the most difficult challenges that we have had to face as a society due to the Coronavirus outbreak. Luckily, compared to how we would have coped in the past, now we have technologies that allow us to stay connected, even during an unprecedented situation like this.
The Internet, but more specifically mobile applications, have proven to be one of the key tools that’s helping people stay connected, informed, and working remotely, fighting the disruption that this epidemic is causing globally.
At Dynamia, we wanted to make use of our experience and tools to help our Uruguayan community, and so we decided to create Cuarentenapp (translates to “QuaratineApp”), a mobile application that helps neighbors stay connected, offer support, and lean on others if they need help. Here’s how the idea of Cuarentenapp started, and how Dynamia’s team worked together to transform that first concept into a reality.
The idea of developing Cuarentenapp came up spontaneously as a result of seeing that many high-risk communities such as large families, those with grave illnesses, people with disabilities, and senior residents who require special assistance, were being strongly affected by the restrictions that the Coronavirus measurements imposed. They needed special help, some kind of resource that would help them stay safe while still carrying out their daily tasks.
With that idea in mind to solve these needs, we planned to develop a user-friendly application that would allow volunteers to show themselves as available to offer help, or others who are in the search of help. Cuarentenapp lets you show yourself as available to help, by detailing in which specific ways you are able to assist others; from grocery shopping, to trips to pharmacies, or any other extra chore or helpful activity the community might need. Once you add yourself to the list of “Helpers”, your location and name will be shown to all users who can use your help.
Once the development team had the final roadmap ready, it was agreed that the project would be built in a one-day hackathon with the cooperation of our entire staff. We wanted to put this application out there as soon as possible to start helping our community fast. After an entire day of work, the application was ready as a minimum viable product. Dynamia’s development team used React to build the application, and PHP and MySQL for the website.
We are also working together with the Uruguayan Ministry of Social Development to create a group of volunteers who will be able to access the application, cooperate in its development, and improve its features, making Cuarentenapp a collaborative project from its very roots.
As of today we have more than 1,000 registered users, 200 successful interactions, and we hope that this solidarity network continues to grow!
As the whole world is practicing social distancing and home isolation, we need to keep communities together and give resources to those who need them the most. Fortunately, online platforms are a huge help in these times of need. If you're looking to build a similar application, talk to us!