Why we built it

Her Care was developed due to the way women's healthcare is being handled in 2017. The taboo around certain topics leads to misinformation and ultimately women being misinformed or unformed about topics that directly affect them. This app is meant to provide a way for women to stay informed about their own health as well as feel safe in otherwise dangerous situations.

What it does

Her Care serves as a platform to gather information about women's health and taboo topics and store it in a single place that is easy to access. With links to different pages about important parts of women's health, Her Care provides women with a simple way to learn about how to take care of themselves. Her Care also includes an emergency feature that can alert close friends of a person's location if they ever feel like they're in an unsafe situation.

How we built it

Her Care was built using Expo.io as a platform of creation. The JavaScript based developer allowed our team of first time hackers to create something functional, informative, and important.

Challenges we ran into

Considering this was our team's first attempt at building an app, we ran into quite a few challenges. Expo was a great way for us, as beginners, to build something that worked in a short amount of time, but there was still a bit of a learning curve. Adapting and learning how to work with React Native was half the battle, resulting in us not being able to implement all of the components we wanted to. Learning how to navigate through pages, use outside APIs, and even design a simple navigation bar served to create a challenging 36 hours. Ultimately we developed a project that we are proud of, but there is certainly room to grow.

Accomplishments we're proud of

Considering we all had no experience with mobile app development, we were skeptical about creating one because coding for iOS is different from a computer or Android device. We did not know what available resources there were for free, until we found Expo. Expo made it easy for us to compile an app that could execute the tasks we had in mind. It has live-updating for the app between a mobile device and programming environment, which made troubleshooting easy. It writes code in React Native, which we all had never learnt, but it is similar enough to full JavaScript development that we did not spend an extensive time learning the basics. This app also has valuable social implications for women. Not only can it be used in developed nations like the US, but also in developing worlds, assuming technology is available or can be made available. The dynamic of the way women’s health is confronted becomes simpler with HerCare.

What we learned

For one thing, we learned that building an app from almost scratch is quite challenging. While we had many great ideas, we didn't have the knowledge or experience to implement them all in the time that we had. Learning how to use Expo to create an app was certainly a huge learning experience and one that we will all be able to build off of. There is still more we want to learn about creating apps, but Cal Hacks served as a way for us to get our initial ideas off the ground.

What's next for Her Care

There were a lot of features we wanted to implement but lacked the time or knowledge needed in order to do so. The map API we used could additionally be used to distribute data to local clinics, doctors, and Planned Parenthood facilities. This would speed up the process and allow women to get the care they need. It could also be used to inform women where their options are in terms of personal care, if they were unfamiliar with the nearby locations. The other issue that arises is the cost of healthcare. Making some form of pricing available or the nature of the practice’s health insurance policy would be increasingly valuable to the app. In addition to emergency features, we hope to implement an appointment system similar to OpenTable that can send reminders and easily plan out days that are available, instead of back-and-forth dates.

We were also interested in news relating women’s health, tips for better health, and opportunities to raise awareness in the community. Implementing a women’s health RSS feed on the app is next on the list. There are several women’s magazines and news websites on the internet, and they all cover a wide-variety of topics that could easily inform women through a single distribution source. In order to gain the content creator’s partnership, extending a subscription tool after so many free articles could generate revenue.

A shopping feature for quickly-purchasing the lowest-priced and highest-quality products would be another feature. This would have categorization and filtering to display products that are popular, similar to previous purchases, and ethically friendly. This feature could also include a way for women to donate money so that those who can't afford to pay for these necessary products could be funded from others.

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