Computer science major helps create app for underserved population – VCU News

As section of Investigate Months (March 17–April 29) we are highlighting some of the outstanding research performed by undergraduates at VCU. Investigate Weeks functions a broad variety of tasks in multiple disciplines from across the university.

Software program enhancement is a demanding approach. More than time, the bugs require to be eradicated so the interface functions efficiently for people.

Jeffrey Duah, a senior laptop science key in the Higher education of Engineering at Virginia Commonwealth University, has experienced the possibility to encounter that iterative system firsthand on multiple projects by way of the Isosceles Lab at VCU. Elizabeth Baker, Ph.D., affiliate professor in the Department of Information and facts Programs founded the lab, which focuses on health care data technological innovation, in 2020.

Duah has worked on several initiatives at the lab, most lately creating a professional medical application software that assists an underserved inhabitants. Duah great-tuned the system by way of user tests.

The idea for the app came from Bethany Cosgrove, a doctoral pupil at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s University of Nursing. Cosgrove approached Baker about a venture for her dissertation. Baker stated it is not unheard of for doctorate students to get the job done with a lab like hers when the challenge involves building mobile engineering, and she agreed to get it on because the challenge in good shape with the lab’s mission.

“We wished to create technological know-how that encourages sufferers to find out about their families’ health to be able to function extra effectively with their well being treatment pros,” Baker mentioned.

Cosgrove observed that households who have small children with Down syndrome usually see various professional medical vendors provided their children’s sophisticated health-related background. The households can have a hard time trying to keep monitor of doctors, professional medical records and appointments. Cosgrove thought a specially designed app would be valuable to the family members.

“The notion was to build some thing that could enable reduce those people challenges of owning to preserve observe of all this information,” Duah mentioned. “Sometimes it can be overpowering. Any way that we can ease that discomfort is what we ended up aiming for.”

Very last summer months, Duah and a group of personal computer science students worked with Cosgrove and designed the app to her specifications. In the drop, they began consumer tests. Cosgrove centered on tests the app for functionality with the households, while Duah and some others in the lab done normal usability tests, earning confident there have been no glitches and that the system was navigable.

“We preferred to get a sense of how nicely the programs have been built-in and how properly consumers have been acquiring the app,” Duah reported. “We wished to know if it was a usable point and what we could do to make improvements to the usability.”

Duah mentioned he has truly savored the approach and realized a good deal. He built a merchandise that has the likely to profit families with distinctive requirements little ones. The encounter also aided him land a career at a program consulting business immediately after he graduates in Could.

Duah, who been given an Undergraduate Analysis and Resourceful Scholarship fellowship to function on the Down syndrome caregivers app, explained he originally was just on the lookout for a work when he contacted the lab. He did not know VCU provided possibilities in undergraduate analysis.

Duah started out doing work in the lab in the slide of 2020, and his initial venture was an software for well being treatment employees meant to help them communicate all through a crisis.

“It was for an unexpected emergency so they could make contact with each and every other quickly,” Duah claimed.

Duah enjoys making new technology that aids folks and is grateful for the chances delivered by the VCU lab. He is proud of the function he’s finished on the Down syndrome caregivers application.

“It was wonderful to establish anything and enable people people far better coordinate their treatment,” he reported.

Duah appreciated the investigation encounter and encouraged pupils to acquire benefit of the opportunities at VCU by asking close to and discovering means to get encounter in their big. He feels privileged that he was in a position to hook up with Baker and the lab.

“It was rather awesome. Laptop science is an location where by you can make new points that aid folks.”