[UPDATE April 28th] Washem is now available in the Google Play Store for Android devices.
[UPDATE April 21st] Washem got rejected by apple: Read at the end about why Apple dismissed the app.
Washem is a small app that uses video animations (actually, it’s looping animated GIFs), and a countdown timer to guide kids (and adults) through the steps of PROPERLY washing their hands.
The usage is quite simple: after placing the phone with Washap opened near the faucet (at a safe distance), you can start the procedure with the press of a button, and follow along with each washing step.
I explain more in-depth how I got the idea in this previous post about Washem.
Using animations and a countdown timer, following all the proper washing steps becomes really easy.
In **Washem**, the steps for washing your hands are explained plain and simple:
You place the phone with Washem opened at a safe distance from the faucet
Click the start button
**Washem** shows each step with an animation, and a countdown timer shows the remaining time
Making the steps visual and easy to follow makes this app especially suitable for kids from age 4 and above.
You probably think it isn’t that hard. But, especially when hygiene matters most — like during these #covid19 #corona times — making sure that you’ve disinfected your hands after visits to the store, public places or even your kids visiting a playground that’s nearby your home got even more important than before.
As it appears, it takes a couple of different manoeuvres to actually touch all the spots on your hands with soap, making them clean and safe again.
It is easy to forget that you need to pay attention on cleaning spots like:
the areas between the fingers
the tips of your fingers
on the back of your hands
Luckily for us, the World Health Organisation (WHO) already thought of a good procedure covering all those spots (and then some) with a procedure consisting of around ten steps.
To be clear: even I myself, a 39 year old male, didn’t know all these steps before so building the app actually helped me learn how to get my hands clean and safe for myself and my loved ones.
What started as a simple idea that I began working on last Easter, I got to finish tonight (Sunday the 19th of April 2020).
During the 26,5 hours I spent on the idea, I:
- outlined the idea
- created a simple landing page (https://www.washem.app) using Carrd.co
- re-enabled my expired Apple Developer account
- selected the right video material and washing procedure steps from the World Health Organisation and the Dutch instance that publishes those (RIVM)
- I used Xamarin.Forms to create the cross-platform mobile app with a simple custom state manager and implemented the washing steps
I got up early a couple of days, worked during evening time on my days off my (part-time) day-job (for whom I also needed to spend time to make my hours — which I succeeded at).
I also tested the patience of my wife and three kids during this period as I “just needed a little longer” to get things submitted (which turned out to cost about two thirds of the weekend).
But I kept going, and stopped wasting time on doing extra things. I just wanted to ship the very core concept of my idea.
The app isn’t polished yet, and there are features and ideas that will make the app easier and more fun to use.
But because I focussed with shipping on my mind, and on getting it out there, I prevented to fiddle around at things that provide less value.
So, here we are now. Washem’s fate in the hands of Apple’s approval team, awaiting their consent.
Let’s hope it will get through so more kids (and adults) can get Washem’s help with washing their hands and keeping them and their loved ones safe.
Keep clean and keep safe
Apple relates handwashing to the COVID19 situation and I’m not a formal instance (like an university, WHO, etc..).
So they won’t allow me to publish it in the AppStore as it is medically related.
I find it good that they’re sceptical, but as collateral damage, my good and working (my kids love it and learned to wash their hands properly) solution won’t be distributed via the AppStore.
PLEASE REACH OUT TO ME IF YOU KNOW ANY CONTACT at the World Health Organisation that might help to publish it via their account 🙌🏻
In this post you can read on how it took me just over 26 hours and 30 minutes to submit my app idea to the AppStore.
The best ideas are about *scratching your own itch, *and that was exactly what my idea was about: helping my kids to wash their hands properly.
The result after 27,5 hours is Washem: an app that helps kids (and adults) to properly wash their hands.