Hack The Crisis Belgium took place last week. During this online hackathon, 614 participants worked together to find the best innovative solutions to hack the Coronavirus.
The winning team consists of the Antwerp technology company Cubitec and the Ghent business consultancy Switch On. They joined forces and collaborated on “Go Test Yourself”. In 48 hours, they transformed their idea into a working prototype, which unanimously stole the hearts of the jury.
Lothar De Keyne, director of Switch On is a born entrepreneur and intrigued by the complex problems of the world. “We wanted to help out in this crisis and make an impact.” Alexander Verbruggen is the technical lead and CEO of Cubitec. Alexander wanted to make a noticeable difference and wanted to test the technical knowledge of his company. “With our low-code platform Nabu, we are used to building platforms quickly, but 48 hours seemed like a good challenge,” said Alexander.
The team came together quite organically, the two confirm. After all, the organization of Hack The Crisis stimulates the cross-collaboration of various branches from the business world. “Cubitec was clearly the technical expert,” said Lothar. “We are more at home in go-to-market strategies and business advice, but we’re both known with each other’s business. That made us a highly complementary team. ”
To Measure is to Know
Of course, every country wants to know how much of the population is infected by the COVID-19 virus. “The problem today is that most of the tests are done in a lab. It mainly tests seriously ill people, so only the extreme cases are reported. For example, it is difficult for governments to put actual contamination figures on the table and adjust their policies accordingly, ”says Lothar. Therefore, home test kits can be a solution.
Go Test Yourself is an online platform that the public can use in the first instance for neutral information about home test kits. The platform explains when and where the kits are available, how much they cost and their advantages and disadvantages. In collaboration with the government, GTY wants to provide objective information that ensures the legitimacy of the test.
Alexander from Cubitec elaborates: “When people have a test kit in house, they can scan the corresponding barcode that automatically leads them to our website. On that platform, they can anonymously share their test result and fill in their symptoms. That way, we enrich the government’s data. ”
All that data is made available through a dashboard. Governments can then see how many infected people there are and what symptoms they have. “We are part of the ‘open data movement’. This movement wants to make information accessible to everyone so that administrative decisions can be better substantiated. The API (standard for data exchange of digital systems) on our website is available to everyone, ” says Alexander.
For example, GTY wants to become a central place where, in addition to governments, medical institutions offer data so they can effectively eliminate the virus. The online platform provides great added value, with minimal effort. The more data you collect, the better the quality of the information becomes.
A Corona-free Society
The population currently shares many uncertainties. One of the greatest is their health. They want the answer to whether they are infected and whether their family is. “I would like to know if my children are infected and if my parents are safe,” testifies Alexander. “Only when we are sure that we’re not infected, we can start to recover as a society.”
Winning the competition is just the beginning, Lothar assures. “People can already join the waiting list for Go Test Yourself. Together with Ernst & Young, organizers of the Hackathon, we are looking into innovation subsidies. We have the technical skills and business skills. We are currently looking for medical partners and other sponsors. Let’s beat Corona together. ”
For more information, go to https://gotestyourself.eu