Inspiration and vision Many doctors, nurses, medical students, and retired healthcare professionals are currently stuck at home, either because they're on standby, self-isolating, or residing with a vulnerable family member. During this crisis, we wanted to give them a safe way to connect with people who need help with Coronavirus and to also reduce the pressure on overstretched hospitals and clinics. People during this crisis are isolated, lonely, and fearful. Having a way for people to speak to people during these times becomes even more essential. The volunteers help with connecting people to resources, emotional support, and triage.
Right now our platform is free for all clinics to use around the world. Our vision extends beyond the COVID-19. We want doc19.org to be a place where healthcare professionals around the world can hop on and volunteer their time to give free telehealth medicine by country.
What it does
doc19.org allows volunteers to sign up to take video calls from anyone in the world with concerns or questions about COVID-19. When a visitor requests a call, they are instantly connected to a waiting volunteer. Neither the volunteer nor the caller needs an app - it all works through their web browser. The volunteers help callers to access and understand guidance released by the CDC and other official sources.
How we built it
The site is built with Django, and we use Twilio to set up video calls. Our current pool of volunteers were mostly reached through Facebook, Reddit, and outreach to medical schools.
Challenges we ran into
The first few matches between callers and volunteers were very difficult to achieve, because we needed both types of user to be on the site at the same time - but after we built a system to notify volunteers when callers are waiting, we got there! The first call took place on Saturday 3/28.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Over 100 volunteer medics have signed up to answer calls, and that number keeps growing by the day. So many of them are contacting us to say they're glad to have a way to help while stuck at home. 4/4/20 the first clinic signed up to use the platform!
What's next for doc19.org
We're scaling up the platform, recruiting more volunteers, fixing bugs, and soon we'll share this resource more widely so more people can benefit from it.