#CloseUp: Karantinas App
Updated: Nov 23, 2020
Last week an app for COVID-19 quarantine, encouraging self-isolation was launched – the Karantinas (eng. Quarantine) app. This is a solution born from the cooperation between the startup, tech community, and the public sector – Vilnius Municipality, the Government of Lithuania Office, National Public Health Centre (NPHC) under the Ministry of Health, Lympo, and Hospital of Lithuanian University of Health Sciences Kaunas Clinics worked together to adapt existing startup product and create a solution to encourage and gamify the stay-at-home experience.
The development of the solution started during the Hack the Crisis weekend and was quickly transformed into a nation-wide app for citizens. We are excited and interested in how this took off so fast, so we interviewed the creators of the app – Ada Jonuse, CEO & Co-Founder at Lympo, and Algirdas Stonys, serving as an Advisor at NPHC. They shared some insights on how this innovative solution will help to fight COVID-19 crisis and how the public sector helped to implement it.
How is your solution - Karantinas app - helping to fight COVID-19 crisis?
Ada Jonuse: Karantinas app enables daily corona symptom tracking, encourages healthy actions and helps to care for people in self-isolation. All actions are rewarded with points that can be exchanged for discounts from local businesses.
- Daily health tasks based on the recommendations of the World Health Organisation preventing the spread of the virus.
- Daily questionnaires on coronavirus symptoms. After filling in a questionnaire, users receive a recommendation on whom to contact in case of alerting symptoms.
- Latest official information about the coronavirus in the user’s location.
- Advice on how to stay healthy at home.
- Assistance to people in self-isolation.
Our target customers are municipalities and hospitals. The app is based on the scientific framework: the questionnaires and recommendations were developed with the Hospital of Lithuanian University of Health Sciences Kaunas Clinics. Machine learning tool predicting outbreak development developed with available COVID-19 data.
Algirdas Stonys: The solution has an informing functionality; health-related tasks which you can earn points for upon completion; surveillance functionality that allows gathering epidemiologic information really fast; location tracking that allows informing app users who might be in danger. In the near future, a social e-commerce functionality will be turned on - it will allow to spend your earned points to buy goods. It is also planned to post ads for volunteer help or job offers.
In the future it is planned to provide a quarantine-completed functionality – a person who has completed self-isolation could be able to authorise their identity through E-Government or Smart-ID and prove that they have successfully completed the self-isolation.
How did you decide to create such solution?
Ada Jonuse: Our company has developed an app to inspire a healthy lifestyle and to reach behavioural change Lympo. The app has 400k+ users in the U.S., South Korea and Lithuania and is used as a B2C and B2B corporate wellness tool by companies encouraging their employees to stay engaged and healthy. Once the corona outbreak hit, I was thinking that if we can successfully encourage people to walk more or to take care of their diet, we could also motivate healthy behaviour like washing hands and recording your body temperature. I was very lucky that I could pitch this idea to Povilas Poderskis, the Head of Administration of the city of Vilnius. I knew that the Mayor of Vilnius Remigijus Simasius is a great supporter of technologies for social good and this is how our cooperation started. Later, the project was also joined by the NPHC and we were asked to develop more features which we are still doing.
How was your experience working with public sector?
Ada Jonuse: Great! People in the Lithuanian public services whom I had a chance to work with like Povilas Poderskis, Simas Sodys, Egle Radvile and others form the city of Vilnius, and Algirdas Stonys from the NPHC were all very focused to create a useful solution as soon as possible and supported us along the way. The whole process was very unbureaucratic and outcome-driven.
Do you have any tips for other creators who want to work with the public sector?
Don’t be afraid to take responsibility, suggest your solutions, and be proactive. Algirdas Stonys
Ada Jonuse: You have to be flexible and identify the right decision-makers. Especially in the times of a crisis like this when everyone is really busy. Without the right people hearing our pitch, we would not have been able to launch the Karantinas solution.
GovTech Lab Lithuania project is funded by the European Regional Development Fund. Number and name of operational programme measure: 01.2.1-LVPA-V-842 Inogeb LT