We realized that one of the few things that has not been digitized is part of the contact tracing process, specifically the mandatory part where businesses need to keep track of their in-person customers. Wanting to create an application to help in some way with the pandemic, we decided this was the perfect fit.
What it does
The application exists as a better alternative to the current pen and paper process where businesses keep track of customer information for contact tracing. It allows businesses to add entries of who their customers are and when they were in contact with other people. The most innovative feature is the interface where testing centers can report the name of a person who has tested positive, and our application will immediately produce a list of all of the names and contact information of the people who may have been in contact with this person during the virus incubation period. In addition, it provides a risk assessment for each person based on how direct and close the contact with the person who tested positive is presumed to be. This way, they can be notified as soon as possible.
How we built it
We built the web application using mean stack. This included angular for the front-end, node and express for the backend, and mongodb to store the data on a database.
Challenges we ran into
Despite facing some challenges throughout development on the front-end, the backend code proved to be the most difficult and time-consuming aspect of the project. Specifically, making sure the algorithm for generating the list of potentially infected people involved many challenges that took time to overcome. We also faced some problems on the server side that involved a fair bit of research and debugging to fix.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
This was our first project using mean stack so we had to learn a lot as we went, and we are proud that we were able to create an application that functioned the way we planned.
What we learned
We definitely learned a lot about the mean stack structure, as well as specific syntax or algorithms that we were not familiar with beforehand, and I think that we have become more proficient in making mean stack projects and web applications in general.
What's next for Digital Contact Tracer
One thing that we are interested in doing is deploying our web application and trying it out on a small scale. One idea we had for this is trying to use it in our classroom at school, where we are currently using pen and paper to track when students leave the room.