Alpha Software Blog

Low-Code App Development is Helping to Battle COVID-19

How low-code app development is helping share information, capture data and battle the COVID-19 pandemic.New York City, the besieged center of the worldwide coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, has turned to a surprising tool to help fight its spread and keep city residents as safe as possible — low-code development. CNBC reports that the city built a sophisticated crisis-management system in a matter of days “without writing one line of computer code” in order to battle the COVID-19 pandemic.

At the heart of the system is an online portal, which in the words of the article, “allows New York to map the virus and identify hot spots, as well as connect residents to critical services.” The entire system was written in just 72 hours, using drag-and-drop visual tools.

Jessica Tisch, commissioner of the NYC Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications and the Citywide CIO, explains why a no-code tool was chosen for development: “Information is power, and we are in a race against the clock. To fight the coronavirus pandemic, we need not only more medical equipment and testing but also more data in real time.”

 The portal can be easily customized for other cities, counties and states, and can be live in within 48 to 72 hours, the article notes.

The speed and sophistication of putting together the system is a harbinger of the way much development will be done in the future, many experts believe, including  Charles Lamanna, corporate vice president of the citizen applications platform at Microsoft.  Lamanna says Microsoft expects that 500 million apps will be written in the next five years, which is more than the total number of apps built in the last 40 years. He explains, “450 million have to be built with a low-code tool. There are not enough humans to code fast enough to build that many. Professional developers should focus on harder challenges than another expense submission form or approval form.”

"Apps for fieldwork are growing five times faster than IT departments can satisfy.” 

He adds, “There are tons of processes today tracked in Excel spreadsheets, and being able to move to an app improves efficiency. Apps for fieldwork are growing five times faster than IT departments can satisfy.” Those are the kinds of apps that are ideal for low-code and no-code development, he says.

No-code and low-code tools are vital because enterprises simply can’t hire enough highly trained developers to write all the apps that they need. He says, “There is a 1 million developer shortfall in the U.S. alone, and all these companies are struggling to create content and applications to go truly digitally native. You don’t need someone who studied comp sci for four years.”

Alpha Software Built this COVID-19 Risk Assessment App with a NYC cardiologist/internist and released it widely as a public service.An Example of Low Code App Development at Work on COVID-19 Projects:
Working with a cardiologist on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic battle, Alpha software developed and deployed this COVID-19 Risk Assessment App in days to enable people everywhere to assess their risk for COVID-19. Read about the app and access it anonymously for free.

Learn how to get employees screened for COVID-19, managed through the quarantining process and back to work with the AlphaMED Workplace Wellness App.

Working on a COVID-19 App? Get Low-Code Help!

Are you developing a COVID-19 related app or data collection application? Alpha Software is offering complimentary low-code software licenses and services to help anyone building COVID-19 apps or other related wellness apps. Alpha apps include robust mobile features, such as GPS, digital signatures, photo capture and markup, and offline capability -- allowing you to get a richer COVID-19 app to market faster. To get help with your COVID-19 apps during the pandemic contact us

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About Author

Amy Groden-Morrison
Amy Groden-Morrison

Amy Groden-Morrison has served more than 15 years in marketing communications leadership roles at companies such as TIBCO Software, RSA Security and Ziff-Davis. Most recently she was responsible for developing marketing programs that helped achieve 30%+ annual growth rate for analytics products at a $1Bil, NASDAQ-listed business integration Software Company. Her past accomplishments include establishing the first co-branded technology program with CNN, launching an events company on the NYSE, rebranding a NASDAQ-listed company amid a crisis, and positioning and marketing a Boston-area startup for successful acquisition. Amy currently serves as a Healthbox Accelerator Program Mentor, Marketing Committee Lead for the MIT Enterprise Forum of Cambridge Launch Smart Clinics, and on the organizing team for Boston TechJam. She holds an MBA from Northeastern University.

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The Alpha platform is the only unified mobile and web app development and deployment environment with distinct “no-code” and “low-code” components. Using the Alpha TransForm no-code product, business users and developers can take full advantage of all the capabilities of the smartphone to turn any form into a mobile app in minutes, and power users can add advanced app functionality with Alpha TransForm's built-in programming language. IT developers can use the Alpha Anywhere low-code environment to develop complex web or mobile business apps from scratch, integrate data with existing systems of record and workflows (including data collected via Alpha TransForm), and add additional security or authentication requirements to protect corporate data.