During the COVID-19 crisis, we would like to find a way to support our parents and grandparents. Since we live in a different country, we cannot help them in person but we can support them financially and we can also help other elder people who might not have family close by. We were developing a solution which would provide support for the elderly who are the highest risk age group for coronavirus while we consider that seniors might not be keen on using complicated applications and we had to find an easy-to-use solution.
What it does
Eldercare is an application which connects the elderly with volunteers who can help them with delivering groceries for them. The application has separate "views". The senior can use the simple view which is using voice commands to help the older people to manage their orders. The payment can be done using their own credit card or can be done with a trusted 3rd part (e.g. a relative), so the application is super easy to use for the elderly.
The volunteers can collect points in a loyalty program way. They can check themself in the leader board and redeem them as discounts in stores which are registered in the application. The points will be stored using the blockchain technology.
How we built it
The basic application is a react/node app using material UI and HTML5 voice APIs. The blockchain technology would use smart contracts and ethereum to store the loyalty points for the volunteers. Our goal is to build a really simple application, which is no hassle to use.
Challenges we ran into
How to develop an app which is easy-to-use by the older population. They are usually not into technology, not easy to convince them to use phones and might have difficulties with clicking and typing.
The voice APIs of HTML5 is still in beta mode. Not all the browsers are supporting, but a really interesting API to use.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Coming up with a relevant and feasible new idea addressing the COVID-19 crisis and support people who are most impacted by the pandemic. We also managed to build the first prototype using cutting edge and interesting technologies. In addition, our team was divided into different regions of Europe but we still managed to work successfully remotely. We had a great collaboration within our team.
What we learned
We learnt a bit about the habits of seniors relation about mobile phones, payment, and trust due to some users interviews and testing we did. We have also learnt new technologies e.g. voice APIs and blockchain.
What's next for ElderCare
If there is interest, we can move from the prototype into a production version. Checking other Voice APIs and creating a native mobile application. We hope we can help the fight against COVID-19, protect people from infection and eventually save lives.
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