This project is focused on Mental Health, Global Health and the sponsored challenge "Best SEMI Power in Hand Solution"
Hearing the need for a tool to address sexual violence sparked our interest into researching into the problem. It is horrifying that more than half of women in the US have faced harassment and this number gets worse in developing countries.
What it does
We built a support system, that allows a victim to anonymously report an incident. This can be done by text messages (for lower income individuals) or using an app (for our premium subscribers). Rather than stop here, we went a step further to use the reported data to create a safe route map, in case another user want to travel, they can do so by avoiding problem areas. We also added the ability to hail a ride share service like Ola in india or Lyft in the US to perhaps take a car ride instead of walking through a high violence area.
We also understand that there is a stigma associated with reporting a violent event and have made the service anonymous. To take it a step forward, we also enable users to reach out to mental health professionals to get help they need. For our basic / texting users, they can get help via text messages, for our premium users, this could be a video chat with a mental health counselor/professional. For our premium users we also added an emergency feature, this essentially force switches on the front/back camera of the phone and starts a pre-recorded skype video session. Any potential dangerous bystander would know that the user is on a call and is less likely to be attacked. According to a UPENN study, there is a 1/3 drop of crime when a user has a phone on them.
How I built it
We used Twilio's API to make a programmable SMS system where an Autopilot agent will process the incoming messages from the user and respond to the user's requests. We utilised Flask and Python to create the assistant and train the samples to understand the intent of the user The Analytics Dashboard is built using Flask, a Python-based web application framework optimal for interactive data visualization; with Plotly graphics written in R.
Challenges I ran into
Initially we faced a steep learning curve of the new APIs and systems that we are utilising in our solution.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
We built a holistic solution that addresses multiple facets of the problem instead of creating just interesting technology. Based on what we learned from the workshops, having a complete solution is easier to adopt.
What I learned
One of the team members learned front end data visualization, another member learned flask, another member learned how to send texts using Twillio.
What's next for Guardian
Finalize the prototype, test it in a market like Delhi, iterate and then build the service for a pilot.