We realized that a number of homeless people might not have access to the services provided to them around the city, and may not have many chances to get an update on their health. We designed Free Checkup to change this.
What it does
Free Checkup works in two main ways:
- It uses a device’s sensors and/or camera to take vital measurements from people, such as heart rate, blood pressure, and oxygen saturation. By pairing this with a few survey questions, Free Checkup can inform the homeless if they have are giving readings which appear abnormal.
- After the checkup is finished, Free Checkup then informs these people about locations of and directions to nearby free clinics, shelters, and soup kitchens.
As a benefit, the city gets to learn much more about the location and concentration of the homeless population in their city, and homeless people are less likely to burden city resources as they seek help before any conditions develop into more serious, more costly situations.
How I built it
We used the web app proto.io to model and map out the design and UI of the app, we used Microsoft's Azure ML Studio to design a neural network that correctly identified patients who may be at risk of certain diseases, then we used react native to build mobile applications that can work across iOS and Android platforms. The building was focused as heavily on design as it was on functionality in order to provide a platform that is easy to use for those who disadvantaged or may not have the same technological capabilities as others.
Challenges I ran into
Our main problem was the biometrics part of the application, we originally intended to use mobile phone's ability to take medical readings such as heart rate and blood pressure in order to give medical care to those who cannot make it in to doctor's offices. However, there are no readily available API's to take such readings and the code needed to create such an app was too much for our time limits. We also ran into challenges with the implementation of a neural network, in order to accurately prescribe patients, it needed an advanced set of data that isn't always available online for public access.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
What I learned
It’s better to focus on getting a working version with the most basic services we want to include than to try and fit everything that we wanted to into it and not finish. There were some ideas that could’ve been really interesting to explore given the time, and might still be if we continue this project. However, we had to put some of those to the side to get a working prototype, which is what is most important.
What's next for Free Checkup
Finishing the mobile application and seeing if it is something that would benefit local homeless shelters in providing quick, free health checkups to the people who go to stay there. Once the full MVP is finished, this service could be deployed in outdoor stands/kiosks that are frequent throughout the city (think one per 6 city blocks). This would make the service accessible to most homeless people regardless of which area of the city they live in.