Monday, 16 May 2016 14:06

Readify develops new emergency waiting times app for WA

By
Royal Perth Hospital Royal Perth Hospital

The Western Australia Government has launched a new WA Emergency Waiting Times app, designed by a Perth team from technology services company Readify.

The new app has been designed to help Perth residents quickly and easily choose which hospital to go to in an emergency.

Readify says it developed the app in response to Government Chief Information Officer Giles Nunis’ public commitment to use Government open data in smart ways, and to demonstrate that innovation can greatly benefit the public without costing a fortune.

The app uses existing Perth hospital emergency wait time data, and taps into mobile device geolocation, local maps and traffic data to give people needing to go to the hospital in a non life-threatening emergency an aggregated travel + wait time.

Readify WA Sales Manager Glen Appleton says Perth residents can now see whether it is worth driving a bit further than the closest hospital to attend an emergency department “that is not as busy, make their decision quicker, get directions and jump in the car”.

The app is currently deployed to both iOS and Android, and is available to download from the App Store and Google Play. The app is hosted in Microsoft Azure and is a scalable and can be used by an almost unlimited amount of people.

Appleton said the idea to develop the app was sparked by the initiative by the Government CIO to demonstrate “how the whole of government could access and use open and cross-departmental data in much better ways to benefit the people of WA”.

“One example of this opportunity was the Department of Health currently listing the emergency department waiting times on their website, but no-one was really aware of it.

“We took it upon ourselves to develop a proof of concept by taking this information and developing a location based, cross platform mobile application. Then we contacted the Government CIO to offer this as an easy demonstration of his initiative by using this kind of data.”

According to Readify’s WA Service Delivery Manager Matt Davies, the app is a great example of Readify’s Minimum Viable Product (MVP) approach to software development.

“The initial iteration took two developers three days to build, with some assistance from a UX (user experience) consultant. The MVP approach to software development allows the delivery of a viable new product to market, rapidly adapting the product direction along the way using feedback from potential users of the application.”

Newly appointed Western Australian Innovation Minister, the Bill Marmion, says the new app “demonstrates the way the Western Australian Government seeks to increasingly engage with innovators to present existing information in user-friendly ways that add tangible benefits to the community.

“The WAED app is a prime example of the State’s innovation potential.  We know technology can make a dramatic difference, and this is about government working cooperatively with the startup industry to save people time and make their lives easier.”

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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