Created by Staples High School Code for a Cause Club and Coding Club students.


We were inspired by the multiple health care websites across the internet, which are filled with crucial healthcare information, but we wanted to make this information more accessible, especially to people who do not understand technology but could greatly benefit from the information contained in the Internet. To help people like this, we created a chatbot, as human interaction is something almost everyone can understand, which makes the chatbot more accessible than self research. This goal of helping people access the healthcare information they need led to us naming the project Aesculapius, the Roman god of medicine whose snake entwined staff still represents medicine today.

What it does

The chatbot uses Cohere Intent Recognition to intelligently interpret the inputs of the user. We then use multiple external APIs to retrieve the healthcare information as requested by the user. This information is then displayed to the user in multiple ways. From a simple response from the chat bot to the information being mapped or graphed depending on the needs of the user. The chat bot is meant to be general and all encompassing, serving as a medium to get the user important healthcare information and direct them to professional help or emergency services if required.

How we built it

We split up this project into a front end (made with svelte and tailwind) and a backend (made with Python). The frontend contains the website and the chatbot. We heavily modified a RASA open-source chatbot widget to talk to our backend. In our chatbot, we also added speech to text and speak-easy synthesis. Based on the inputs of the user, the chatbot requests information from the Python web service API in the backend, which gets its information from external APIs such as Twillio and Cohere. We used both for sending out emergency messages, as well as using text messages to talk to a chatbot.

Challenges we ran into

  • Making the Svelte front-end
  • Setting up front-end routing with TypeScript and Rollup
  • Using Vercel to host the backend
  • Using Twilio to SMS message phones

Accomplishments that we're proud of

  • Making a web service Python API and hosting it on Vercel
  • Using co:here to recognize the user’s intent with a custom engineered chatbot, and utilize its text generation capabilities
  • Using Twilio to send and receive text messages in the backend
  • Creating components with Svelte as well as creating optimized and fast sites using TypeScript
  • Adopting a chatbot widget from a different protocol for usage with our backend.
  • Adding text-to-speech and speech-to-text support to be more accommodating.
  • DNS configuration with a domain

What we learned

  • How to recognize intent using Co:here
  • How to use Twilio to send important messages
  • How to split up the front-end and back-end
  • How to use certain front-end languages more efficiently
  • How to better manage domains and hosting

What's next for Aesculapius

  • Interactive map with hospital locations from backend
  • Higher quantity of medical information
  • More tailored responses for types of solutions to issues
  • Focus on mental health even more and its scientific aspects

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