The team, TechnoPro, consisting of three Bachelor of Computer Science (Honours) students from the Faculty of Information and Communication Technology (FICT), namely Tan Zhi Xian, Andy Wee Jin Hong and Lim Hui Ying won the Tech Women’s Award at the virtual Huawei HMS App Innovation Contest “Apps Up 2021”, organised by Huawei from June to October 2021.
Themed ‘HMS Innovate for All’, the contest aimed to inspire talented developers across the globe to create seamless, smart and innovative digital experiences, and explore the future of digital intelligence. By highlighting pioneering HMS open capabilities, the contest gives app developers the tools to build tomorrow’s all-connected world. This includes constructing the future of technology and bringing all-scenario smart life experiences to Huawei end-users in over 170 countries and regions, reaching over 650 million Huawei users globally.
The Tech Women’s Award was intended to support and encourage more exceptional women in the tech world to stand out. The trio received cash prize USD 10,000 and a digital certificate. The team will also be eligible to receive incentives, including Huawei AppGallery promotional resources, Huawei cloud resources and exclusive incentives for paid HMS Core capabilities for their app.
“The award was a surprise for us because there were many talented developers who participated in the contest, so it was quite intensive. We are very grateful for the award and happy that our effort and hard work put in to develop this app have paid off. We would like to thank our mentors-cum-FICT academics Tan Chiang Kang and Saw Seow Hui for their guidance throughout the course and for encouraging us to join this contest. It was also a good opportunity for us to participate in the contest because one of our assignments was to develop and design a mobile app. Coincidently, Huawei organised this contest, so our mentors further encouraged us to explore our skills and learn more through the contest,” enthused the team.
The trio also expressed gratitude to UTAR and their lecturers for all the support given, especially for providing them the platform to hone their skills in mobile app development, which they can apply in the real world. They also thanked Huawei for the opportunity through the contest to expand their skills, as well as to family and friends for the support received.
Their award-winning mobile app “BloodBank” is an app that eases the process of donating blood. It allows users to make reservations to donate blood and even request blood as a donation recipient.
“As the digital and technological landscape evolved drastically throughout the years, healthcare via electronics has become increasingly important. It offers a new perspective in regards to global health which aims to improve healthcare services for citizens. Hence, our team has developed a healthcare mobile app called the BloodBank Mobile App. It can transform the existing traditional methods and facilitate the blood donation process. This BloodBank application it can increase the volunteer donors’ willingness and accessibility, as well as encourage more people to become registered volunteer donors. The objective of our BloodBank mobile application is to ease the process for users to obtain information regarding blood donation. It will have a more organised and systematic platform for the users to learn about blood donation activities, as well as the benefits of donating blood to help people in need. In addition, this blood bank system allows users to keep track of their donation history; request for specific blood to find a blood donor; add and view the donation history record, and view the location map. Therefore, users are able to easily obtain information and details regarding of blood donation, allowing more users to participate. This blood bank app it can provide a more convenient and safer method for the blood donors to store their data,” explained the team.
In view of the current Covid-19 pandemic, the team mentioned that the app is also able to help healthcare facilities. “In the past few years, the increasing demand for blood has raised concern from the society, especially in the current Covid-19 pandemic where more blood donors are required. Even though aggressive efforts have been taken to boost the participation of society in blood donation, the blood stocks are still insufficient to achieve the minimum required level. In the case of an emergency crisis, it would be hectic for a person who needs blood to look for donors. This scenario has caused a life-threatening issue, especially among those who need blood such as patients involved in accidents or cancer. Hence, this has inspired us to develop this project to solve the difficulty of users in obtaining information regarding blood donation and the problem of tracking blood donation history. Besides that, the app also helps users to locate blood donors with certain blood types in a designated area. Thus, it allows volunteer blood donors to make an online request to donate blood to those in need,” explained the team.
The main contribution of this project is to provide an alternative way that could help the hospitals and blood seekers in Malaysia to find suitable blood donors easier and faster. Presently, there is a lack of available platforms that are able to help solve the difficulty of finding blood and solve the shortage of blood supply in Malaysia. Through the proposed app, the hospitals and blood seekers who are in need of blood can use the app to connect with nearby potential blood donors and request blood donations. The app also provides information about blood donation to raise the awareness of Malaysians to donate blood actively. The app includes the details of upcoming blood donation campaigns. Hence, interested blood donors can get the details through the app and schedule their time to attend for blood donation. This function helps to stimulate the interest of people to donate blood and increases the number of donors. Therefore, the hospitals will be able to collect more blood donated by the people. Apart from that, this app will record the blood donation history of the users. This way, the data can be accessed at any place and any time using the user’s mobile application. Compared to the current method, which keeps all the blood donation history on a red book, the app provides a more convenient and safer method to store and record their blood donation history.
The team also highlighted that BloodBank is related to Sustainable Development Goal 3: Good Health and Well-being, which focuses to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages. “Good health is essential to sustainable development, and we must contribute to achieving universal health coverage (UHC) and improving access to quality health care. Our project has provided an alternative way that helps the hospitals and blood seekers in Malaysia to find suitable blood donors easier and faster. Due to the pandemic, we discovered that many people had difficulty obtaining information about blood donation, but through our app, users can easily learn about blood donation events. It also allows easy registration for users to register as donors or recipients, and helps hospitals to easily locate available donors of specific blood, even if the donor has not visited the hospital before, through the record kept in the app. Through this way, it can help us to achieve the overall health goal and provide a good quality of health care services in this digital era.”
When asked for their advice to aspiring mobile app developers, the team advised, “Never stop learning because life never stops teaching. There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work and learning from failure. For us, winning is something that is built from the physical and mental preparedness trained every day and night. So be confident and believe in yourself that you can create what you envision. When you are not afraid of the obstacles, that confidence will automatically make you stand out among the rest. Accept criticism because that positive and negative feedback will help you learn from your mistakes. Be open to criticism but don’t be affected by it. Criticism is meant to help us be better people. The confidence you get when you do self-analysis is unbeatable.”
Online Education Fair 线上教育展
Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR)