Inspiration

Our inspiration comes from many of our own experiences with dealing with mental health and self-care, as well as from those around us. We know what it's like to lose track of self-care, especially in our current environment, and wanted to create a digital companion that could help us in our journey of understanding our thoughts and feelings. We were inspired to create an easily accessible space where users could feel safe in confiding in their mood and check-in to see how they're feeling, but also receive encouraging messages throughout the day.

What it does

Carepanion allows users an easily accessible space to check-in on their own wellbeing and gently brings awareness to self-care activities using encouraging push notifications. With Carepanion, users are able to check-in with their personal companion and log their wellbeing and self-care for the day, such as their mood, water and medication consumption, amount of exercise and amount of sleep. Users are also able to view their activity for each day and visualize the different states of their wellbeing during different periods of time. Because it is especially easy for people to neglect their own basic needs when going through a difficult time, Carepanion sends periodic notifications to the user with messages of encouragement and assurance as well as gentle reminders for the user to take care of themselves and to check-in.

How we built it

We built our project through the collective use of Figma, React Native, Expo and Git. We first used Figma to prototype and wireframe our application. We then developed our project in Javascript using React Native and the Expo platform. For version control we used Git and Github.

Challenges we ran into

Some challenges we ran into included transferring our React knowledge into React Native knowledge, as well as handling package managers with Node.js. With most of our team having working knowledge of React.js but being completely new to React Native, we found that while some of the features of React were easily interchangeable with React Native, some features were not, and we had a tricky time figuring out which ones did and didn't. One example of this is passing props; we spent a lot of time researching ways to pass props in React Native. We also had difficult time in resolving the package files in our application using Node.js, as our team members all used different versions of Node. This meant that some packages were not compatible with certain versions of Node, and some members had difficulty installing specific packages in the application. Luckily, we figured out that if we all upgraded our versions, we were able to successfully install everything. Ultimately, we were able to overcome our challenges and learn a lot from the experience.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

Our team is proud of the fact that we were able to produce an application from ground up, from the design process to a working prototype. We are excited that we got to learn a new style of development, as most of us were new to mobile development. We are also proud that we were able to pick up a new framework, React Native & Expo, and create an application from it, despite not having previous experience.

What we learned

Most of our team was new to React Native, mobile development, as well as UI/UX design. We wanted to challenge ourselves by creating a functioning mobile app from beginning to end, starting with the UI/UX design and finishing with a full-fledged application. During this process, we learned a lot about the design and development process, as well as our capabilities in creating an application within a short time frame. We began by learning how to use Figma to develop design prototypes that would later help us in determining the overall look and feel of our app, as well as the different screens the user would experience and the components that they would have to interact with. We learned about UX, and how to design a flow that would give the user the smoothest experience. Then, we learned how basics of React Native, and integrated our knowledge of React into the learning process. We were able to pick it up quickly, and use the framework in conjunction with Expo (a platform for creating mobile apps) to create a working prototype of our idea.

What's next for Carepanion

While we were nearing the end of work on this project during the allotted hackathon time, we thought of several ways we could expand and add to Carepanion that we did not have enough time to get to. In the future, we plan on continuing to develop the UI and functionality, ideas include customizable check-in and calendar options, expanding the bank of messages and notifications, personalizing the messages further, and allowing for customization of the colours of the app for a more visually pleasing and calming experience for users.

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