New Haven Health
Dr. Dana Small is a Canadian researcher working at Yale University. She is a specialist in the sense of smell. She and her fellow researchers are exploring the link between COVID-19 patients and their reported loss of smell.
ObjectSharp and CentriLogic have provided funding to support her research, and pro bono work to build a new software App for self-testing sense of smell from home.
Because this work was time-critical, ObjectSharp chose to build the App using Microsoft’s new Blazor software development tool.
KEY TECHNOLOGIES USED
- Azure Blob Storage
- Azure App Service
- Azure Sql Database
- Azure Keyvaults
- Azure Devops
“My colleagues and I were struck by the early reports from so many COVID patients saying they had also lost their sense of smell”, said Dr. Dana Small from her lab at Yale University.
“Most people don’t notice small changes in their sense of smell, until they lose it completely” said Dr. Small. “So my fellow researchers and I started to wonder: could the loss of smell in COVID patients be an early indictor of the virus?”
Together they designed a simple peanut butter sniff test to help people track any loss in their sense of smell over time. Peanut butter is one of those foods that only stimulates the sense of smell, and most people already have it at home. “We are trying to scientifically confirm whether there is a link between early COVID infections and the loss of smell. If that turns out to be true, then we now have a simple test that anyone take themselves from home. Absent other symptoms, this could provide an early warning of a possible infection from the virus” said Dr. Small.
However there were problems. It was May 2020, and Dr. Small needed to start her COVID/Loss-of-Smell research right away. But her research funding was not coming in until Sep. She also needed an intuitive, easier-to-use App to help people track any loss in their sense of smell on their Smartphones and Desktops from home.
And that is when ObjectSharp, and its new corporate partner CentriLogic, stepped in to help.
“I am very grateful for the support we received from ObjectSharp and CentriLogic. It was key to helping us fast-start our research into whether or not the loss of smell could be an early indicator of COVID-19 infections,” Dana Small, PhD, Divisional Director, Yale University School of Medicine.
HOW WE HELPED OUR CLIENT
ObjectSharp and CentriLogic, together with a Canadian entrepreneur, made donations totaling US $45,000. That allowed Dr. Small and her team to fast-start their research project in May 2020.
Also, on a pro bono basis, ObjectSharp and CentriLogic agreed to take on building and hosting the new App that Dr. Small wanted. “We had all been looking for some meaningful way to help ‘move the needle’ in this fight against COVID”, said Software Architect and Lead Developer, Dave Judd from ObjectSharp.
“Dr. Small’s research seemed very exciting to us. If she could confirm that the loss of smell was an early symptom of COVID infection, that would be a HUGE step forward in the fight against this virus. So my team jumped at the opportunity to help her, by building a simpler App to let people record changes in their sense of smell from home”, said Judd.
But time was of the essence. So ObjectSharp decided to use Blazor – the new software development tool from Microsoft. Blazor had so many features that allowed them to build the new App very quickly, including:
- No need for Java Script; the ObjectSharp C# developers could build the whole App themselves, using the new UI Framework in Blazor
- Blazor allowed them to reuse and share code between the client and server side of the App, and across similar components throughout the App
- Using Blazor’s “Composable UI architecture”, the team was able to split all the screens into isolated components, so they could build them in parallel
- And finally, Blazor’s Application Templates came with everything they needed to ensure the same App experience for every Android, IOS and Desktop user