Our initial idea was to dumbify a smartphone because we realized that the elderly usually face difficulty comprehending the interface. Upon further brainstorming, we decided to target an issue intricately linked to elderly and aging - loneliness. Their elderly wisdom is also left untapped due to minimal interaction with society. As such, we strive to encouraged elderly to step out and engage in voluntary experiences that appeal to them. The success of the app would also bring elderly of similar interest together and therefore mitigate the negative risk associated with social isolation and loneliness.
What it does
LionHeart provides a platform for the elderly to sign up for meaningful voluntary experiences, in the process, finding new company with similar interest and a greater sense of purpose in life. It currently recommends new events to the elderly based off of a nearest-neighbor classifier that compares various factors (interest, skills, past events and ratings) between registered users.
How we built it
We did wire-framing and prototyping on Figma and coded our base application on Swift. Our back-end data was hosted on FireBase while the recommendation system is built with python and hosted on Google Cloud.
Challenges we ran into
We faced time constraints in implementing the various features that we came up with and had to limit ourselves to constructing a simple model with minimal features after numerous troubleshooting. However, we have ambitious plans for future improvements we hope to continue to work on given the chance to.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
The awesome programmers who tanked the project through the night! :D
What we learned
We learnt how FireBase, Google Cloud and Swift can be integrated together to create an application. We also learnt the important of pre-planning and setting out the full scope of the application before beginning development. Furthermore, we gained a greater appreciation for how other humanitarian disciplines (e.g. economics and psychology) could be integrated into app design and development to make the experience better for our target users.
What's next for LionHeart
Progressive Disclosure As a database and portfolio of past events of an elderly is collected, a friend network feature will be introduced to him/her. Rather than introducing it immediately when the elderly first start the app, possibly overwhelming them with the various feature, a progressive disclosure allows the elderly to ease into the app. The feature informs the elderly of other users, with similar past events attended and interest, that may be attending the same event as them, encouraging them to befriend each other. LionHeart strives to increase the users social circle to combat elderly loneliness.
Data Analysis Data collected from the app can be used for targeted outreach. Voluntary organisations can access these information to organize their events in regions where their specific experience would face greater support, increasing the effectiveness of voluntary program. While we're currently recommending based off of a nearest-neighbor classifier, when the recommendation engine has sufficient data on the user, further profiling can be done on the type of experience the users took part in and recommend them new events based off of their own portfolio.
Employability Some elderly may choose to re-join the workforce several years after retiring. At their age, it may be hard for them to integrate smoothly into the system. LionHeart thus serves as a portfolio of their skills and experience. The network they make from volunteering with the organizations could also be useful in landing them a job in a field of their interest.
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