The ockovani.opendatalab.cz website provides an overview of available COVID-19 vaccination appointment slots. The aim is to provide Czechs with an easily accessible overview of appointment capacity that has not been previously available. The app was developed by Marek Sušický and Jan Staněk at the Open Data Laboratory, a joint workplace of the Faculty of Information Technology, CTU in Prague (FIT CTU), and Profinit. They were able to use the open data newly published by the government.
There are currently huge differences in the accessibility and availability of COVID-19 vaccines between different vaccination centres. Some centres have difficulty contacting people eligible for vaccination, at others people have to wait many weeks to get a jab. However, the booking system does not offer the possibility to select a vaccination centre based on the available appointment slots. And this is where the new app ockovani.opendatalab.cz by experts from the Open Data Laboratory (OpenDataLab) steps in. The app is an example of how open data can be used in practice, and how it can be used to protect the most precious thing of all – people’s health.
“When I and my colleague tried to reserve an appointment for our family members in January, we realized that it was impossible to find information about free capacity,” Marek Sušický explains where the idea came from. “Therefore, we started searching for a solution using open data, which is our field of expertise. In the beginning, we didn’t have access to official open data, so that’s why the first version of the app was our personal project that used unofficial data. However, this changed at the beginning of March, when the Institute of Health Information and Statistics of the Czech Republic published the data. This is also why we have now transferred the app under OpenDataLab,” he adds, explaining what subsequent steps they took in the development of the app.
The app traffic is now over 10,000 hits per day and growing.
“We are expanding the website as we receive feedback and suggestions for improvement from programmers and users. If the government publishes more detailed data, we will definitely include it in our overview,” Marek Sušický comments on the future development of the app.
FIT CTU and Profinit EU opened their joint laboratory OpenDatLab in 2019. In the lab, students can work with open data sources. The laboratory also provides them with a unique opportunity to study data on transportation services, the government’s economic policy, the environment and many other areas in their course projects and theses. The results of their work and their teachers’ work are used to improve the quality of life in the Czech Republic.