Using new technologies like Alexa and chatbot, we decided to make a common platform for people to get easy answers to healthcare questions. To enable access for people with limited internet connectivity in certain remote areas, we also added a SMS interface to our platform.
What it does:
Using some cool APIs and platforms, our service answers health queries or questions about symptoms, cures, remedies or a general nutrition question. Additionally, our app also provides a random health fact.
How we built it:
We wrote a chatbox, alexa skill and an sms service which communicates to a heroku server to answer health questions. The heroku server utilizes api.ai to parse the user input, and sends it to Wolfram Alpha api or a python scraper which scrapes the wikihow website to find appropriate answer. The answer is then sent back to the respective platforms.
Challenges we ran into:
Getting Alexa to process every user was a challenge we faced. Finding the proper apis that could answer our questions was tough with the limited health data available. So, we had to write a scraper which provided us with those answers.
Accomplishments that we're proud of:
Building a server that communicates with three different platforms and making sure all user inputs are taken care of. Finding and creating our scraper to answer all questions with short steps from wikihow.
What we learned:
It was a new experience for most of us trying to work a service that communicates with three platforms.
What's next for HealthMe:
Expand it to more user inputs and have persistence that stores user inputs and builds successive answers on those inputs. This would help leverage the benefits of a conversational interface.