‘Coronathon’ winners rush to find solutions
Engin Esen - ISTANBUL
CoroWarner and GüvendeKal! Covid-19 teams have joined forces to create an application.
The winners of Coronathon Türkiye, a hackathon organized to harness ideas aiming at countering the adverse effects of the coronavirus pandemic, are now in a rush to put their innovative solutions into practice.
Among some 1,500 applicants 12 of the projects were selected to be granted financial support and promotion from over 120 mentors and stakeholders including the Technology and Industry Ministry, innovation centers of the Turkish prestigious universities, chambers of commerce, nongovernmental organizations and private companies.
“It is essential that the implementation of the selected ideas is stepped up, and they can create an effect immediately,” Coronathon Türkiye spokesperson and Director of Boğaziçi University Entrepreneurship Center Oğuzhan Aygören told Hürriyet Daily News.
Although the selection process is over, Coronathon Türkiye will continue to promote and support new projects targeting solutions to the problems caused by the pandemic, said Aygören.
Medibook, a tele-health platform providing online medical consultation, was granted 20,000 Turkish Liras (roughly $3,100). It offers patients suffering from diseases other than COVID-19 a secure online communication with health professionals. Those suspected coronavirus patients under quarantine at home also will be able to be monitored via Medibook without requiring a physical contact.
Özel Doktorum (My Private Doctor) is a similar application based on artificial intelligence.
“Patients will be able to learn what kind of a healthcare service they need through an analysis of their sickness symptoms,” Metin Yeşiltepe, a medical doctor and one of the developers, told Hürriyet Daily News.
“We are in the process of developing the application. We will try to complete the first version in a month,” he said.
Özel Doktorum team, including another medical doctor and engineers from the Middle East Technical University (ODTÜ), will also apply to the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey for promotion.
Neoanka is another medical applications with similar objectives.
Two teams, CoroWarner and GüvendeKal! (Stay Safe), decided to unify their projects which were both qualified for a support of 10,000 liras ($1,550).
Having very similar ideas and same motivations, they will continue their efforts under the name CoroWarner, spokesperson Ömer Kutay Atilla said.
They are planning to make the application ready in two weeks.
“GüvendeKal!” project was developed with an aim of “detecting the crowd density and keeping the users away from those risky environments.”
If a user is diagnosed with COVID-19 the application will prepare a report based on the user’s interactions in the last 14 days.
“CoroWarner” project was developed to warn users about their possible interactions with people diagnosed with the coronavirus disease.
Another application project, CoronApp, will also send its user a notification of a possible risky interaction with a COVID-19 patient in a range as close as 2 meters. It will gather data via Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, GPS and mobile traffic for high sensitivity.
“We will provide an opportunity for citizens to create a barrier between them and the pandemic. With this system, we also aim to predict the spread rate of the pandemic and direct patients to the hospitals without creating a burden on the healthcare infrastructure,” said developer Berke Dabağ.
BirCan (One Life) offers a communication network between local stray animal volunteers, pet owners, municipalities and veterinarians.
“Creating data for volunteers feeding the stray animals, it will detect the hungry animals’ whereabouts on every street in an area,” BirCan co-developer Irmak Yolcu said.
The small group of volunteers who have organized the Coronathon Türkiye are now planning to transform the platform to a permanent body.
“At this point, we want to organize new hackathons and contribute to produce ideas and develop projects in a fast pace,” Aygören said.
“The points amping every one of us are the collaboration for a common purpose and good will. They are most needed things nowadays. Because all the world is struggling against the same problem and enemy as much as it never did before.”
BirCan co-developer Irmak Yolcu