We were inspired by the environmental injustice that we see in the world and the inadequacy of proper response to a wide range of public health emergencies. For months on end, individuals in Flint, Michigan haven't had access to clean water, and across the globe, many similar incidents are occurring due to urbanization. We believe that environmental injustice can be mitigated by technology designed with empathy and empowerment in mind, and thus HazMap was born.
What it does
HazMap compiles users' reports of unusual health symptoms and surrounding environmental abnormalities into an easy-to-use graphic. Utilizing our aggregated data, we are able to identify potential areas affected by health hazards and support traditional public health surveillance systems with this information.
How we built it
First, we created mockups of possible designs using Figma. Then, by utilizing React Native, we were able to implement a user-friendly mobile application. We implemented Google Maps API to contextualize the data. Using Ruby on Rails API, we made a feasible backend database system.
Challenges we ran into
Initially, we struggled with deciding on a specific problem we were passionate about. Technical issues included implementing React Native API due to our lack of experience using the platform. Through reading documentation guides and collaborative problem solving, we were able to overcome this challenge.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We are proud of coming up with a solution that encourages communities to advocate for themselves when faced with environmental health adversities. On the technical side, we are proud of creating a cross-platform mobile app that can further extend our reach into our target communities.
What we learned
We learned that Berkeley and Stanford students can work together on a unified cause.
What's next for HazMap
We are thinking about integrating machine learning algorithms to better correlate the environmental factors and their symptoms. In addition, we hope that HazMap can create a direct line of communication between individuals in the community and their public health officials. Through push notifications, we would also like to provide simple cautionary measures to individuals. Another avenue we are considering is adding a physician referral feature for individuals who are concerned about their current health.