IIT-B develops app that will alert when Covid vaccination slots are available | Mumbai news

To help people book a Covid-19 vaccination slot conveniently, a team of researchers from the Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay (IIT-B), have designed an app that allows applicants to set up alerts for the availability of slots nearby.

CoVaccinator is a mobile application for android phones designed by researchers from Industrial Engineering and Operations Research (IEOR), IIT-B, that can access data from the servers of the Co-Win portal. Once downloaded, users can log in using their registered mobile numbers akin to the Co-Win portal and book slots.

What sets this application apart from Co-Win is the option to set up an alert for available slots at centres near the user. “The rush for vaccination has subsided as the drive intensifies. However, people have been facing trouble looking for available slots and then by the time they book, the slots are gone. To avoid this, we have enabled the alert option,” said Manjesh Hanawal, associate professor, IEOR, who heads the team.

One can log in, search for available centres by pin code, district and centre name. The user can then set up an alert for the centre of their choice.

“The mobile application gets regular updates from the servers of the Co-Win portal. As soon as a slot is available in the centre of your choice, you get an alert on the phone. By clicking on the update, you can log in to the application and book a slot. You can save the time of looking for slots, finding the centre and then booking an appointment,” said Hanawal.

As of now, none of the web and mobile-based portals can facilitate auto-booking for slots that are available for security reasons. Hanawal said that the application has been developed to help people find vaccination slots, alert generation when vaccination becomes available in a centre.

“One can download certificates and add beneficiaries. We are exploring if we can add a feature that will auto book slots when the slots become available. This app is built using approved Application Programming Interface (API) from the Co-Win platform,” said Hanawal, adding that the application will soon offer information on other vaccination drives such as drive-ins or arrangements made by local government bodies, all at one place.