Ottawa teen creates COVID-19 app aimed at stopping spread of virus
OTTAWA -- Ryan Rodrigs is only 16 years old and when the COVID-19 pandemic brought the world to a standstill he got to work.
Rodrigs has created a COVID-19 app that helps its users stay safe with simple reminders like keeping your mask on in public spaces and practicing physical distancing.
“Obviously COVID-19 is a huge pandemic,” says Rodrigs. “Everything got shut down and I really wanted to try and make something or try and build something that could really help people right now.”
He calls it The Yunal COVID-19 App.
“What we do is we take your current location and, based on where you are, we’re going to give you custom safety alerts and safety notifications,” Rodrigs says.
Along with the friendly reminders to stay safe, the app also has links to government websites for self-assessment tests.
“Users can easily just take a quick test and they can find out what COVID-19 symptoms they have and how severe it could be,” he says, "and then they can also get in contact with the appropriate doctors or medical practices.”
There is also an abundance of COVID-19 information in what Rodrigs calls the live dashboard.
“People can learn more about the virus. They can read up on articles,” says Rodrigs. “They can go to important government links to learn more and see more about government protocols surrounding the coronavirus pandemic.”
The app is a worldwide success. In its first 45 days, adding 75,000 users on Android devices not only in Canada, but places like India and China as well.
Rodrigs also says the app will remind you to wash your hands when you get home. He wants his app to stand out above the rest.
“I also saw that the government was making contact tracing apps and these apps, if accepted, there was a little bit of controversy surrounding them,” Says Rodrigs. “So, I thought I could make the better alternative that has real functions and values the privacy of the user.”
For those who are worried about privacy, Rodrigs says his app doesn’t collect any personal information about the user aside from their location.
“The only information that we take in is your home address. So, when you first download the app, you have to move a little pin, just put it on your address and that's all you do. So, no name, nothing. We don’t take any of that privacy, we don’t sell anything,” says Rodrigs.
The Yunal COVID-19 App is available right now for both iOS and Android devices.