Inspiration

Once a patient has completed an inpatient mental health or substance abuse program, their therapist releases them using a "step down" approach to provide the best outcomes. The tiered levels of care are:

1) Partial Hospitalization

  • Do not require 24-hour supervision
  • Attend daily therapy
  • Reside at home

2) Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP)

  • Resides at home
  • Attend therapy several times a week

3) General Outpatient Care (GOC)

  • Reside at home
  • Attend therapy 1x a week or bi-weekly
  • See a psychiatrist 1-3x a month

Many patients are released directly from inpatient to GOC because the "step down" approach can cause financial pressure on a patient because of the high-priced services and the required visitations a patient has to make with their therapist. Because implementing best practices to transition a patient from inpatient to outpatient care were not executed, patients often become overwhelmed and unable to return to normalcy. Everyday tasks such as journaling and tracking mood, medication compliance, side effects, appetite, and sleep become complicated. When patients cannot keep up with their treatment, their conditions worsen, sometimes resulting in re-institutionalization or even death.

The COVID-19 has thrown a monkey wrench into how we function daily and taken many lives and jobs. The "step-down" approach is even harder to implement now because of the layoffs and the wait time a patient has before seeing their provider. These difficulties are what inspired the Life Beyond app.

What it does

The Life Beyond app will provide patients released from a psychiatric care program the support needed to track and journal their daily living activities. This app will assist patients with their tracking by sending daily email/SMS reminders to them once they transition from inpatient care to outpatient care. The Life Beyond app's tracker will help patients track their everyday mood, medication compliance, side effects, appetite, and sleep. The patient will also have access to a digital copy of their personalized safety plan and a "Call Now" button to give them immediate access to the Suicide Prevention Line as well as a click-to-call for their contacts. A patient's therapist can quickly pull the data from the backend and provide immediate feedback.

How we built it

Bootstrap 4

  • Create mock-up for a clean and simplified layout

Google Cloud SQL

  • Set-up database

Netbeans

  • Used text editor to cleanup HTML

Github

  • Repository

Challenges we ran into and what we learned

  • Planning, building, testing, writing, and recording in 24 hours is a challenging task
  • One team member out of four participatied in a Hackathon
  • Lack of experience creating a webpage from scratch and Github
  • Health issues
  • Ran into some trouble with exporting code from Pingendo GUI editor
  • First time using Bootstrap to make web forms
  • Recording complications

As a team, we recalled how critical time management and organization are when planning, building, testing, writing, and recording for a project that has strict cut-off time such as this Hackathon. We will take more advantage of the provided resources such as the hacker kit. As the saying goes, "teamwork makes the dream work." Regardless of the challenges we faced, we came together and helped each other out, and we were able to achieve a lot of first. We appreciate the opportunity and look forward to many more Hackathon opportunities.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

  • Figuring out how to use Bootstrap to create tracker form
  • Safety Plan page
  • Pushing through fear and joining a Hackathon with our Western Governors University - WINTECH Club sisters
  • Getting through all the firsts and being able to make those firsts work
  • Picking up tasks without knowledge of how to execute
  • Communication and working together as a team

What's next for Life Beyond

Mental illness affects everyone. We all can identify with the challenges that come with this illness. We may know someone or even struggle with it ourselves. No one should have to feel alone or burden with financial challenges when attempting to cope with everyday living. Life Beyond can be a life-changing application for everyone: patients, families, friends, therapists, and care facilities. We would love to present Life Beyond to psychiatric facilities and help them see the value that we see in it.

We still have some things that we are working on and will be implementing before with can publish to the public:

  • Connecting the frontend with the backend
  • Use Twilio to set up daily email/SMS reminders for patients
  • Generate graphs from live data for therapist access
  • Include a click-to-call feature for contacts
  • Layer Security with Two-Factor Authentication

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