Inspiration

The COVID-19 pandemic has shaken up the day to day lives of citizens globally. While many folks are healthy and can safely go into spaces with other humans; there are many folks who are left stuck with the struggle between going to get essential goods or being stuck without them. The elderly are a vulnerable population in this pandemic given their aging immune system and potential co-morbidities. Hence, I set out to develop an iOS application that allows local communities to show the inherent goodness of humanity by supporting our elderly and getting their groceries and other essential needs for them.

What it does

Elder Bridge allows senior citizens to select which items they would like to purchase at a store. Any healthy adult who is planning to go to the same store in person can see if a senior citizen placed a desired order at the store and can accept the order. The adult will select the items at the store and deliver it directly to the senior citizens’ doorsteps. The senior citizen will be charged directly via the application and the adult will be given the money by the application once the delivery has been completed. Orders can be tracked via the application with status update notifications if desired. Community updates regarding store hours, locations, and news regarding access given the COVID-19 pandemic can be seen through the application.

How I built it

I used Swift & Xcode to develop the actual iOS application. I used Sketch for the design and user interface. I used Firebase to store the user data. Finally, I used Adobe Premiere Pro to produce the video presentation.

Challenges I ran into

The major challenges I ran into was connecting the application to firebase given troubles with storing and authenticating the user data. Transferring user data successfully between the application and the back end was something I had little experience with prior to this hackathon, hence the learning curve itself was a challenge.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

I’m proud of what I was able to create within this time period as a solo participant. This was my first time participating in a hackathon with a 24 hour window for hacking and I was concerned with my ability to implement this project given the scale of the idea. However, the reason why I decided to go through with this idea rather than go with a simpler idea was given my respect for all those first responders and folks who acted quickly when the COVID-19 pandemic first occurred. Society wasn’t ready nor prepared for a disease process of this nature yet that didn’t stop folks from organizing large scale response operations for the good of humanity.

What I learned

I learned how to integrate Firebase with iOS. One area I was mindful of prior to the hackathon was UI & design. I know these were weaknesses of mine prior to this hackathon and hence, I want to improve in those areas. I believe I learned a lot about application planning and overall layout through this project.

What's next for Elder Bridge

Future implementations for Elder Bridge would include an android application and a web platform. Other avenues that I would look into include partnering with stores to provide direct delivery to senior citizens and easier access to food produce.

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