SFU Software Developers revolutionize service delivery in communities globally

January 19, 2023

On October 27, students from our Software Systems program displayed their fantastic research projects at the SFU Surrey Community Open House. There was also a community presentation on our Software Systems program and responsible AI development by professor Harinder Khangura, Director, Software Systems.

Below are descriptions of students’ projects:

Cradle Platform:

The Cradle Platform is designed to support health care delivery for pregnant women and other patients in developing countries, with a focus on the Bidi Bidi refugee settlement in Uganda and health centres across Sierra Leone. SFU Software Systems and Computer Science students have worked with members of Kings College London to design and implement the platform. Work started on the project in 2019 in the CMPT 373 Software Development Methods course, and has continued under special project courses (CMPT 415/416) lead by professor Brian Fraser.

The project solves some complex challenges. For example, it allows syncing health data to its Android app which allows users to work offline in areas with poor internet connectivity and to submit patient referrals using SMS messages. Plus, recent work has been done to support flexible forms to gather patient data required by the health system and medical professionals. The system has a backend (using Flask, written in Python), web frontend (using React, written in Typescript), Android app (written in Kotlin), and an Android SMS message relay app (written in Kotlin). The project is not yet in active use (as of August 2022), but project leads are actively working with the Directorate of Science and Technology Innovation in Sierra Leone to enhance the system to meet their needs.

Baytree Mentor Portal:

The Baytree Mentor Portal supports the mentors working with the Baytree Centre in London. The Baytree centre provides support for women and girls through personal development activities, workshops, mentoring, coaching, and English classes for newly arrived migrants and refugees. Work started on the project in 2021 in the CMPT 373 Software Development Methods, and has continued under special project courses (CMPT 415/416) lead by professor Brian Fraser.

The platform supports mentors by allowing them to track their mentoring sessions, complete monthly questionnaires, and access mentoring resources. This information can help The Baytree Centre track and manage mentoring relationships. The system has a backend (using Django, written in Python), and a web frontend (using React, written in Typescript). The project is not yet in active use (as of August 2022); however, it is expected to be put into use during the Fall of 2022.

The Hope Health Action (HHA):

The Hope Health Action (HHA) Hospital Reporting Platform will provide HHA staff a web portal to digitize the data collection process at field hospitals in Haiti. Currently, monthly reports containing patient information are filled out on paper. This can be messy, error prone and requires physical storage. The HHA Hospital Reporting Platform will allow field hospitals to complete questionnaires digitally and have reliable summary information about patients in the application. The project was originally created by team Haumea for CMPT 373 in Fall 2021. It has since been further developed by teams of students each semester through a special project course, CMPT 415. The system has a backend (using Node.js and MongoDB), and a web frontend (using React, a frontend JavaScript library).

Virtual Reality Motion Regulation for Youth:

Youth are a vulnerable population at risk for mental health issues with long wait times to get help. Emotion regulation, the ability to modulate the intensity and duration of emotional states, has been explored as a transdiagnostic intervention to improve mental health. One of the most effective emotion regulation strategies for youth is cognitive reappraisal– changing how we think about a situation to decrease its emotional impact.

Virtual Reality (VR) is a computer-generated 3D environment that allows the user to experience a simulated world through stereoscopic 360 visuals, stereo audio, and 3D interaction with tracking sensors. The project is led and co-led by SFU’s School of Interactive Arts & Technology researchers, Alexandra Kitson and Alissa Antle, respectively.