Inspiration

The inspiration for CoronaAssistant was the need for a convenient and a friendly channel for localized official communication at a global level on CoronaVirus matters. It answers frequent questions on COVID-19 in the country, thus reducing the overhead on helpline. A self-diagnosis is available for screening at home.It provides an official channel for the local governments to push emergency alerts or important updates to all users. When a user travels from one country to another, notifications received with the latest official advisory for the new country. This will help travellers to understand the current situation in the country and keep them informed about the latest advisory in the country. It is currently developed as a web application, but can be integrated with Facebook messenger or Whatsapp messenger, which require no installation and doesn't require user clicking a link every time, and provides a familiar and popular messaging platform.

What it does

Global Official bot addressing queries on COVID19 in the user's country with official responses. The responses of the bot will vary based on the country the user is in. The bot will pick the responses from QnAs from official sources of the country. This will be done as far as possible by scraping the relevant FAQ sites and synced every hour. When the user travels to a new country, push notifications are received from the bot regarding the new regulations, advisories in the new country. The bot also helps with a Self-diagnosis of COVID19. The authorities can set push notifications (emergency alerts, important updates) that will be broadcast to all users.

How I built it

CoronaAssistant is built using IBM Watson Cloud services for chatbot, IBM Watson Discovery for knowledge base, NodeJS orchestrator.

Challenges I ran into

One of the challenges was limitations of IBM licensing such as inability to create more than one instance of Discovery collection in Watson Discovery Service using Lite plan. More services can be created with Advanced or Premium plans which are paid. Secondly, it is a single handed project, and hence I had to manage a lot of things myself - installations, solution design, resolving developmental issues, testing, etc.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

I'm proud to be part of a global event for the first time, that too for such a wonderful cause. I honestly wish to proceed with this project and hope it will help. CoronaAssistant, in its current state was developed in less than 1.5 days. I was astonished as to how much one could accomplish with some dedication.

What's next for CoronaAssistant

Integration with FaceBook messenger, Whatsapp. As these 2 are messaging services already used by majority of the users around the world, it will be provide a familiar platform, without any additional installations required or user having to visit a website to talk to the bot.

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