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Meet CrowdCovid

Let's take a look at CrowdCovid, the highly innovative and disruptive web application which we'll be documenting.

Learning by example is always easier than learning abstract concepts, especially when it comes to the IEC 62304!

Let's look at an application which I developed in March 2020 at the beginning of the pandemic. The idea of the project was to track people with covid symptoms in realtime. Remember: Those were the dark days before there were national covid tracking apps and the (PCR-) testing infrastructure was still ramping up, with test results taking 5-14 days to come back.

The web application runs in the browser. It's written in Rails, with a Postgres DB and StimulusJS. It also uses the mapbox API for, you guessed it, displaying a map. Users can submit data any time: They can specify whether they feel healthy or sick and whether that was confirmed with a covid test. If they select "sick", they're also asked if they have a fever, cough and/other symptoms. Their data is saved alongside with their geographical location. The location gets anonymized client-side within a bounding box of 2 kilometers.

The application then displays all recently submitted data in a heatmap where green means "many healthy people are here", red means "many sick people are here". Individual data submissions by people can be selected by clicking on the green/red dots. There's also some push notification voodoo going on to remind people to submit data (fun fact: As soon as I stopped reminding them, nobody came back to the website).

But wait, let's get back to regulatory documentation, that's why you're actually here, right?

This application is our starting point for creating regulatory documentation. We'll assume that this is a medical device by assuming it has some additional (not implemented) features of directly diagnosing covid. As in all startups, we now need to create retrospective documentation for a software which was hacked together in a few days, with quesitonable code quality, little test coverage and an unclear deployment strategy! So, just like in the real world.

I'll briefly walk you through the application so you can see for yourself :)