In the wake of Covid-19 the world is facing a major economic crisis. It is estimated that over 40-60 million people will be pushed into extreme poverty. Hence it is common need to not waste money unnecessarily. Healthcare sector is one of the most important and rapidly growing sectors in today’s world. With the changing lifestyle people need more medicines to cope up with the stress or any other disease. As a result, a lot of money is spent on medicines. Also, the medical waste generated is immense. According to World health Organization (WHO) the Health Care Waste Generation Rate (HCWGR) in the world is 2.5kg/bed/day. In India this rate is 1.55kg/bed/day. A major part of this waste is the medicines that we throw away because we do not have any information of them. This medical waste is increasing day by day endangering the planet. Our project addresses the same problem.
What it does
In this project we will be developing an application that will detect the medicines with the help of Optical Character Recognition (OCR). On the application we will be providing information such as name of the medicine, for which disease the medicine can be used, its dosage, the generic equivalent, the side effects, how to use medicine, how it works, price, and quick tips. This information can be extracted in several language such as English, Hindi,Marathi, French and German.
How we built it
Firstly, we found out the most common reason for the medical waste, which was, lack of information about the medicine. So, we found out the important points to display in our app and accordingly build our data base. After that, we stated building our app through android-studio, as we didn’t knew much about it we took help of our mentors and through online videos.
Challenges we ran into
As we are students, initially we did not have much knowledge of app development but we learned many concepts in Java that were useful to us. The programming was a notch above us and there were a lot of bugs that required a lot of efforts to overcome. Also from the last two months our country is under complete lockdown, so there was no physical interaction between the team but we coordinated over the internet.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We successfully recognized a text with the help of OCR. On the creation of database, we were able to display the relevant medical information on the application. Next task was the proper designing of the application. Finally, we added a few languages so that the application is user-friendly.
What we learned
Firstly, we learned to convert images to text in python. This was followed by the creation of database. The most important thing that we learned was application development. This required the knowledge of Java. We also learnt how to make an application compatible in various android versions. The ability to think critically and problem solving mindset were the by-products of our hard work.
What's next for Application for extraction of medicine information
In future we are planning to add a chat bot which will keep track of the user’s dosage and will notify the user to take a pill at provided time. Even we can add the location of the nearest medical store and find out the availability of a medicine.