Swinburne’s Stay Home Notice app helps improve effectiveness of MCO
April 13, 2020
Director of Swinburne’s Centre for Digital Futures Professor Patrick Then.
KUCHING – The Stay Home Notice (SHN) mobile application designed by Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak Campus is expected to increase the effectiveness of the Movement Control Order (MCO) currently imposed by the Malaysian government.
The initiative is led by Professor Patrick Then, Director of Swinburne’s Centre for Digital Futures and Head of School of Information and Communication Technologies, as well as researchers from the centre and school. Swinburne’s Master students are also engaged as developers.
According to Professor Then, the app aims to assist the government’s efforts in minimising the spread of COVID-19 virus throughout the MCO period. Consequently, the monitoring system also helps to reduce the workload of the relevant monitoring authorities to enable them to focus on other pressing issues.
“Individuals who are required to be quarantined can use the app to report their current location and photo to the authorities. The app can be downloaded for free by any individuals, healthcare service officers, as well as public and private organisations and institutions for monitoring purposes,” remarked Professor Then.
He added that currently, more than 20 subjects who have been issued with SHN are using the app. It is also being used by Sarawak General Hospital (SGH) while other organisations such as KPJ Kuching and Penang Health Department are trialling it.
Dr Grace Lee from SGH said the SHN app will increase the efficiency in monitoring the adherence to MCO.
“The app ensures healthcare workers comply to organisation policies and that they engage in safe behaviour and practice. It’s definitely a great tool to use during this outbreak and hopefully helps to flatten the curve,” said Dr Lee.
Developed within one week, the SHN app is based on SHN issuance principle whereby only users issued with the notice by the authority or their employers will be reporting their status. Assuming entity A (authority or employer) has a total of 10 staff with a code assigned to them from A1 to A10, the entity will then be provided with a domain name such as aaa.shn.org. Thereafter, entity A will issue a SHN to its A1 to A10 staff.
A customised Android installation file (.apk) will be designed for entity A where A will instruct its staff to download the .apk file onto their phones and sign in. From this point onward, the app will automatically run with notification reminders to group A1 to A10 to enable them to provide their updates. The notification reminders can be set up by entity A according to a specific time or random interval.
“There are two conditions for the app to work. First, the users have granted permission for the app to capture their location and selfie, and second, the users are issued with SHN by the authority or employer,” added Professor Then.
There are plans to further enhance the app with a special ringtone to alarm the individuals that they have moved outside of their designated boundary, while another enhanced feature is to link the app with a wireless body temperature monitoring device.
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