Did you have any prior development or coding experience?
As a serial entrepreneur, I had entrepreneurship and operational experience, not coding experience. However, the other co-founders had coding & software experience so that made for a great combination of complementary skills.
What was the most challenging aspect of developing mobile app?
The app uses AI that has to analyze sound. This means it needs to use the microphone and it has to run in the background. The most difficult was finding a technical solution to this problem that would also be acceptable for our users. As always, the best solution is a combination of well-designed technical architecture, refined user experience, and value created.
Iulian Circo specializes in building impact businesses. He has founded and co-founded several global companies and has built a successful track record of entrepreneurship with a focus on exponential technology and impact at scale. He has more than 20 years of experience in building and managing high-performing teams in challenging and extreme operational environments across 4 continents.
What need of the user did you have in mind when developing this app?
Ever since we rolled out the app, we discover so many novel ways in which our users use Hyfe:
1. The typical user is someone either with acute or chronic cough. We have a lot of chronic coughers among our users who get value out of finally understanding objective patterns and trends over time for their coughing. We also have many parents who use the app to monitor their child’s coughing – particularly in cases of Asthma, croup cough, and other respiratory conditions.
2. We also have people using the app as a way to track the quality of their environment – for example we saw an uptick in users on the West Coast of the USA during the recent fires – people were tracking their coughs as a way to gauge the seriousness of air pollution in their area. Other people are using it to track their allergies and so on. 3. We have also rolled out a feature that allows people to track the cough of their loved ones – I can easily track my mum’s coughing in real-time, one continent away. We found that quite a few health providers were using this sharing feature in the app as a way to manage patients in social-distancing-compliant ways.
4. Probably the most interesting use of our app is at a population level – if enough people in a certain area are using the app, that allows for essentially a “smoke detector” for Covid19 outbreaks. Even a slight increase in cough frequency at a population level could help municipal public health authority deploy a targeted action and maximize the impact of their limited resources. Here is a short description of how that works