Hi, I'm Jason from DocLink

Inspiration

Anwar is a refugee who has been in Sydney two months. He has basic English skills. He has a pain in his chest but wants and needs to see a doctor quickly. He might already have a regular GP, but if his GP is away or if he is out of town. Maybe he doesn't want to contact his caseworker for help, because his medical situation is embarrassing. So how does Anwar access a bulk-billed, local GP service that has language services available?

What DocLink does

It would be great if Anwar had a web app to look at and see what GP services are available. This app does that, and it's easy enough for anyone to use. The web app - a) Asks for your first language. b) Finds your location c) Shows you the doctors that are close to you, which have the language services available. Here's the prototype

How I built it

It was made with leaflet, html5, jquery and fullPage. It is a web app, not a phone app, as not every refugee has a smart phone.

Challenges I ran into

The major challenge is that there is no government database of GPs who bulk bill, and what language services they provide. The database that this app uses will be based on databases held by Medicare, Centrelink, Private Health Networks, SSI and others.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

I'm a one person team, with help from many mentors. I've made a prototype as a proof of concept. I've had a good idea - it happens sometimes!

What I learned

I'm surprised there is not a central database of this data already. This database of bulk-billing GPs is essential to make sure Australia is allowing refugees services that are appropriate to them.

What's next for DocLink

The MVP will focus on Sydney and GPs only. It will provide information on doctors for five different languages - I'll need to find the most common languages for refugees. Eventually, DocLink will - a) Include other areas of Australia b) Include other services, like GPs c) Allow doctors to elect information, like which individual doctors can speak which languages. d) ALlow users to give feedback on the doctors. e) Provide details about cultural and gender specific issues for finding doctors.

Making the website has been simple, but making and maintaining the database will require funding. The most appropriate method would be to receive government funding, since this service will streamline the provision of services. However, any costs will be outweighed by the benefits. Wouldn't it be great if Anwar could be more independent and find an appropriate doctor by himself, like most other Australian adults.

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Updates

Jason Thomas posted an update

An update - The project is ongoing, but it’s changed completely.

On the front end, it allows refugees to find refugee-friendly doctors. On the back end, it’s about making an interface for SSI, Startts and others to submit their anecdotal knowledge about which doctors in Sydney are ‘refugee friendly’. The app will allow people to choose their first language. The site itself will be in English, with first language pointers, helping them learn English too. For this, I plan to get the SBS translators involved. The project was entirely a JavaScript app, but it will use Ruby on Rails for the final product.

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