Another application that was developed during the pandemic in Thailand is called “Mor-Cha-Na.” This application was created to prevent virus transmission by tracking users and notifying them when they are close to infected individuals or in high-risk areas. Also, users could assess their virus infection risk by answering a set of assessment questions within the application, ranging from the lowest risk to the highest risk.
– Problems or limitations of the project
As a former user, I encountered a problem while using this application. This app significantly drained my battery because it required users to enable location and Bluetooth all the time for optimal performance of the app. As a result, many users decided to disable location or Bluetooth, or even uninstall the application, leading to a decrease in the available information regarding the user’s location and risk level.
Another issue with the application was that, no matter how users answered the risk questionnaire, they would always receive a low-risk result. This was because people in high-risk and highest-risk groups would be updated by the Department of Disease Control only to deter users from providing false information. However, there was a report indicating that the application developer faced challenges in obtaining good cooperation from the official staff. Therefore, the status of the high-risk or risky users was not updated in real-time, which contradicted the application’s purpose of tracking and avoiding potentially risky people and areas in real-time.
– What knowledge and skills of health informatics could help improve the project?
1. Computer science and IT
Even though in the end, the app developer has already fixed the battery-consuming problem after receiving complaints from several users, the Mor-Cha-Na application is no longer available since the situation of COVID-19 is improving in Thailand. In my opinion, the idea of creating an application for tracking and reporting the risk areas of infected people in real time might be applied to other diseases like influenza. Additionally, to avoid encountering the same problem as the Mor-Cha-Na application, the app developer probably needs to design an app that consumes less battery, such as decreasing the frequency of check-ins at the location of the users (every 30 minutes or an hour). In the event that the user is in the high-risk group, they can update the status of the risk by scanning a provided QR code at a hospital or a pharmacy when they go to get the medication, as they have already been verified by a doctor or pharmacist as high-risk individuals.
2. Management and social sciences
Since the pandemic is an urgent issue that needs to be solved, the Mor-Cha-Na application was created with the possibility that the creator might not have the best enterprise architecture. Therefore, when the app was launched and one of the stakeholders did not cooperate very well, the application could not perform at its highest performance in the real world. Thus, before creating an application, having discussions and communication among the organizations to create a well-structured enterprise architecture will provide good results for the project.