When Belgium students started their school year during COVID, it was important for them to have access to rapid COVID-19 tests. Rapid COVID tests were performed in Red Cross testing centers but there was no system that would allow registering online for appointments. Each center had its own working hours, break times, specific locations, and volunteer numbers which were defined on a daily basis depending on the number of volunteers available, etc. So, we were commissioned to develop an online platform to make appointments for rapid COVID-19 tests.
The goal was to create a platform where CLB workers would register to make appointments for pupils from their jurisdiction. It was crucial for them to be able to see the test results online as soon as possible so they could act accordingly.
The main challenge of the project was a two-week deadline which was due to the urgency of the pandemic situation in Belgium. In this short time span, it was crucial for us to gather all the necessary info, realize the problems and needs of everyone involved, and find an effective solution to meet those challenges. Another challenge was the fact that there were 52 testing centers with different working hours and capacities, which meant the appointment calendar itself had to be customizable for each testing center.
The final product was delivered swiftly to create an efficient response in an urgent pandemic situation. Red Cross had the ability to adjust their volunteer assignments based on appointment bookings, customize appointment calendars, and easily handle appointments on the platform. After the appointment's completion, they could enter the results which would automatically be visible to CLB employees. Since the platform proved to be extremely successful and reliable, we also completed a new user scope which included school staff who then could make COVID-19 rapid testing appointments for themselves.
Since each center has its own working hours, break times, specific locations, and volunteer numbers, we introduced a factor called the load factor which determined how many rapid tests a particular center could perform within a 15-minute period. Also, for better flexibility in the configuration options, we added the option of entering exceptional working hours for each day which allowed Red Cross Centers to effectively manage fluctuations in the number of people available on specific days.
Spring Boot was our backend framework of choice, and Angular was the best fit as a frontend solution. The application was deployed onto Amazon (AWS) servers.
Benefits for the client
The main benefit is a stable, reliable, and scalable platform for our clients and all end-users. With our agile approach, we handled the project in a remarkably fast, efficient, and effective manner. The platform benefitted each end user in a different way. CLB employees could make appointments for students in just a few clicks and track the results. School staff could also make appointments and get their results immediately via e-mail. Finally, Red Cross volunteers could see booked appointments at any moment which minimized waiting times and improved efficiency.