It’s been almost a year since the COVID-19 pandemic has plagued our communities, and its numbers only seem to grow. Googling and swiping through pages and pages of resources is no longer enough to keep up with the numbers that represent our nation’s battle against the virus. On the other hand, our parents always ask how many cases there are today. Searching it up on google always gives us the statistics for Canada but never for a specific province, unless mentioned in a news article. We wanted a solution that allows the user to quickly find the daily COVID-19 data without searching it up.
What it does
CoviData uses Voiceflow, which allows users to use voice commands to find the latest Covid-19 information. CoviData sources its data from a government-run API that updates daily; this enables users to be up to date at all times. So far, CoviData lets the user retrieve information for Canada and its provinces. The data includes daily new cases, mortality data, recovered data, and daily administered vaccines. CoviData also consists of a simple symptom checker that asks the users a few questions and decides whether COVID-19 testing is recommended.
How we built it
CoviData is a scalable working prototype that was designed and edited through Voiceflow. Our app makes use of a single open-source API: OpenCovidAPI, provided by the Government of Canada to extract specific information regarding COVID-19, which the user desires to know. As CoviData gains users in new areas, locations, and even countries, new data sets can be added and queried.
Challenges we ran into
Voiceflow began to slow down when the size of the logic became bigger. Arrows would disappear and paths would disappear as well. Google home would have difficulty restoring the most updated version of the voiceflow project, which made it difficult to test and record demos Inconsistent time for updating the Covid-19 data on OpenCovidAPI
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We were able to use Voiceflow to make GET requests and successfully retrieve the appropriate data based on the user’s command. Since we were getting this data from the Canadian government’s GitHub, we witnessed a live update to the COVID-19 dataset allowing CoviData to carry the most up-to-date statistics, and this way, our app guarantees accuracy in the numbers provided in our service. We were able to learn Voiceflow quickly and adapt to all the technical difficulties.
What we learned
We learned how to make GET requests using Voiceflow’s API calling block to work in combination with a user’s voice inputs to create a working prototype.
What's next for CoviData
In the future, we’d like to explore more in-depth statistics with information on specific regions and municipalities, as well as to connect to the user’s real-time location and allow them to ask about statistics “near them.” We’d also like to expand the scope of our data into other languages to expand internationally. Growing beyond the conversational touchpoint, we’d like to implement a frontend to display all the information. Implement graphics for a more user-friendly depiction of the data presented to them. In addition, CoviData can provide more helpful services for people who believe they may have the virus; for example, we can provide a map that displays all the locations where people can take tests as well as provide other resources that give useful information on how to quarantine yourself in the occurrence of an infection properly and appropriately.