Alexa McDonald will always remember April 2nd, 2018. On that day, McDonald was enjoying a nice day on the beach in Jupiter, Florida. However, what she saw next would change her life forever. She looked out into the water and saw a father struggling to bring his two young girls to the shore. With the help of others, they were able to bring the girls to land, but they needed immediate emergency attention. Although four concerned citizens called 911 that day, and EMS was deployed after the first call, it took them over ten minutes to arrive. In the incident report, it was found out that rescue was dispatched to the wrong location, and as a result, they arrived at the scene too late. Scenarios like this happen all over the country every year, yet no one fixes this issue.
How do we fix this?
In a world where Uber and Dominos know where we are why are innocent civilians dying in preventable ways so often? Nearly 75% of smartphone users share their location at all times, why not take advantage of this existing information? With Call Assist, a user's location is automatically shared with first responders in the event of a medical emergency. A user can use an android application to send the user's name, age, location and more to our website. Emergency medical services can access this website and automatically see the current location of the user and the fastest directions to the location using Google Maps. The application will also alert a user's family, friends, or healthcare provider in the event of an emergency.
How we built it
To create the Call Assist website, we used Bootstrap. We used a framework to design a simple website that displays all of the necessary information that a first responder needs to get to and aid a civilian in need. We used the Google Maps API to show a live map based on a user's location data. For our application, we used Android Studio to create an Android app that displays a user’s name, general information, and location. We also implemented Twilio to send out an alert phone call to family and friends of users who are experiencing an emergency.
Challenges we ran into
In making our website, we had issues with connecting our domain name to a server. We had a few problems when connecting our app to our website to enable live location updates. An additional issue that our team had was getting used to how to use GitHub. While it is somewhat easy to use, we had a few issues in updating our website including a number of errors that caused our website to bug out.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We are proud of the fact that we were able to produce a completely operational application accompanied by a fleshed-out website and a working firebase database. Inputting our information in the app, we were really able to see our website come to life over the past 24 hours, which is a really great feeling.
What we learned
What's next for Call Assist
As we moving forward with Call Assist, we hope to continue working on the website and application to better serve the needs of people. We hope to add more features like account services for a more unique user experience as well as a connection to insurance companies. Allowing users to share medical information and a photo of themselves is another feature we think would be beneficial for both them and the medical responders. We also would like to improve the UI design to create an easier to use application that is welcoming to all users.