ACUTELY aware of the blood shortage problem in the country, three computer science undergraduates set out to develop a mobile app to ease the difficulty of accessing blood donation information, even allowing both donors and seekers to connect with each other.
Their endeavour bore fruit recently when they bagged the Tech Women’s Award at the virtual Huawei HMS App Innovation Contest “Apps Up 2021”.
The Tech Women’s Award was intended to support exceptional women in the tech world, and encourage them to stand out.
For their achievement, the trio from the Faculty of Information and Communication Technology (FICT) at Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR) were awarded a cash prize of USD$10,000 (RM41,678) and a digital certificate.
They will also receive incentives including Huawei AppGallery promotional resources, Huawei cloud resources and HMS Core capabilities for their app.
Lim Hui Ying, Tan Zhi Xian, and Andy Wee Jin Hong, who formed Team TechnoPro, thanked their mentors – FICT academics Tan Chiang Kang and Saw Seow Hui – for their guidance throughout the competition, held from June to October this year.
“One of our assignments was to develop and design a mobile app. Coincidentally, Huawei was organising this contest, so our mentors encouraged us to explore our skills and learn more through the contest,” the team shared in a press release dated Nov 3.
Named BloodBank, their award-winning app was designed to facilitate the blood donation process, while providing an alternative way that could help hospitals and blood seekers in Malaysia to find suitable blood donors easier and faster.
Among its functions are allowing users to make blood donation reservations, keep track of their donation history, locate blood donors with certain blood types in a designated area, request for specific blood, among others.
The team shared that the app was inspired by the country’s blood shortage scenario in recent years and especially during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
“Even though aggressive efforts have been made to boost society’s participation in blood donation, the blood supply is still insufficient to achieve the minimum required level.
“This scenario poses a life-threatening issue, especially among accident victims or cancer patients,” they said.
“The objective of our app is to ease the process for users to obtain blood donation information. It has a more organised and systematic platform for the users to learn about blood donation activities, as well as the benefits of donating blood,” they added.
The team also highlighted that BloodBank fulfils the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 3: Good Health and Well-being, which focuses on ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all at all ages.
“Good health is essential to sustainable development, and we must contribute to achieving universal health coverage and improving access to quality health care,” they said.
To aspiring mobile app developers, the team had these words of advice, “Never stop learning because life never stops teaching. Success is the result of preparation, hard work and learning from failure. Be open to criticism but don’t be affected by it. Criticism is meant to help us be better people.”
Themed “HMS Innovate for All”, the Apps Up 2021 contest aimed to inspire talented developers across the globe to create seamless, smart and innovative digital experiences, and explore the future of digital intelligence.