Using CommCare for Fun - From Newborns & Nuptials to Hikes & Flips

“What kind of app can I make with CommCare?” is one of the most common questions we hear at Dimagi. Well, what about an app for fun?

For the majority of our users, CommCare is a great tool to support people’s day-to-day work. When CommCare was first developed, it was designed to help community health workers track and treat pregnant women and newborns. Years later, the majority of users are doing this same important maternal and newborn health work – an area that we still refer to as “CommCare’s bread and butter.”

Over time, more wonderful organizations started using CommCare to support other service delivery efforts – including for agriculture, cash transfers, disease surveillance, water and sanitation, you name it. Suddenly, CommCare was just not for health, but for any service delivery project – a true testament to the generic platform’s flexibility.

While CommCare apps have mostly focused on using CommCare to track service delivery projects as part of people’s day-to-day work, I’ve noticed more people using CommCare outside of work too. At Dimagi, many people use CommCare for their own lives after work hours. I wanted to share a few examples of some fun apps, and hopefully inspire others to build their own!

CommCare for Hiking

During six years at Dimagi, Matt Theis (our former head of Global Services) built numerous CommCare apps – including the app for one of the biggest CommCare projects in India. Recently Matt decided to take a year off from Dimagi to hike 2,658 miles on the Pacific Crest Trail – and he’s been using CommCare every day.

“I can’t wait to see how different factors change throughout the duration of the hike,” Matt said. “From how I’m feeling, what is painful, to what was the most intriguing thing I thought about that day. CommCare will help to capture that in an easy way, far from any network service. At the same time, it will help to alert friends and family on my progress.”

                              hiking-1  hiking-2


CommCare for Weddings

When Project Manager Erin Quinn’s sister got engaged, she did what any Maid of Honor would do – she jumped into wedding planning. Step 1? Build her bride-to-be a wedding app with CommCare.

Erin designed the app that guests could use during the wedding weekend. With CommCare, guests could look up logistical information about the hotel, church, reception, and access a local sightseeing guide. They also took a quiz to see how well they knew the bride and groom – at the end of the weekend, the winners were revealed. And during the wedding itself, everyone had fun capturing photos and videos on their apps, which the bride and groom could laugh at later.

                               wedding-1  wedding-2


CommCare for Gymnastics

One of our engineers here, Ben Rudolph, is really good at gymnastics – like, this good. To keep himself motivated during gymnastics practices, Ben made a CommCare app to track his progress. If he misses a goal or messes up a routine, the app clears itself so that he’d start from the beginning.

You can see him in action below with the app at Wednesday night practice – with a teammate tracking his flips in CommCare.

                              gym-1    gym-2


CommCare for Baby Care

When one of our software engineers in Cape Town, Simon, found out he and his wife were going to have a baby, he built a CommCare app to help track baby care. One of the goals of the app was to ensure that baby Esme didn’t lose weight in her first few months.

“It was particularly useful for us because Esme was six weeks premature and spent four weeks in hospital,  so we had to keep a close eye on her weight, milk intake, and nappies.” Simon said. “Having the CommCare app made it very easy to keep a detailed record of the things we needed to. I think what I liked about it was how easy it was to use and customize to meet our needs.”

We know that baby care is a lot of work (maybe not your traditional type of “fun”), but it’s been a lot of fun watching new Dimagi parents can pass the app down to each other.

                               baby-1   baby-2


These are just a few examples of ways you can make CommCare apps for fun. Have you used CommCare in a unique way? If so, share what you’ve done with your app in the comments section!



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