Doctor's Note: "Surgery recommended. Patient declines due to estimated cost of procedure and inability to travel to hospital with resources to treat."
Millions of patients undergo similar challenges, being victimized by these systematic flaws, with the unfortunate result of allowing severe medical illnesses to go on untreated. Each of us have experienced an instance when our families have had to seriously consider moving forward with professional care due to apprehensions about the ability for us to access care. Medical tools, ranging from beds to MRI machines, accounts for the largest portion of hospital and small clinic cost. This cost gets pushed. To the patient. There is an unfortunate truth as well: most of this cost-tripling equipment ends up being replaced in only a few years. These fully functioning machines - space occupying lesions - still are valuable and yet waste away as they've been carelessly stuffed into empty corners and spare area.
What it does
MedEx takes dynamic action to redistribute these expensive medical devices in order to bring care to the people by supplying in-need medical institutions with life saving equipment. By accessing web app we developed, hospitals or clincis of any size are able to log in and register by providing some simple information such as their zip code and how many beds they have in their institution.
From here, they are redirected to a page where they can request a device or donate a device. Each option leads to a form which can be filled out with details of needs/details of what medical device they can distribute. On the request side, a neural network trained on a variety of positive and negative features (population, surrounding income, etc.) performs need assessment via effective artificial ranking. On the donate side, medical devices that are made available are matched to the institution of highest need. The mechanism also accounts for the same high need clinics from receiving multiple devices while others do not receive any by instituting a chronologically tagging each user.
With the transfer of important, expensive machines and potentially monetary transactions needing to take place on this platform, cybersecurity is a major concern. Given that, a standard blockchain was implemented in the backend, allowing for new blocks to be created as the devices were listed, paired, and transferred.
In essence, MedEx provides an opportunity of a paradigm shift in the way medical care is delivered to patients. By focusing on utilizing resources to their fullest potential, the goal is to bridge the gap between different people and provide high level health care at a reasonable cost moving forwards.
How I built it
The front-end system was built using angular.js paired with node.js. The backend implemented a flask structure that... . The neural network was built using the numpy library and the dataset was collected by integrating the US Census' open population API.
Challenges I ran into
Given our relatively limited experience in developing web apps with clean interfaces as well as integrating API's in a robust fashion we experienced complications through the hacking process.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
Developing an end-to-end tool that has the potential to drastically and rapidly improve the care that millions of people struggle to receive is very exciting.
What I learned
Angular.js and node.js to build a web app. Familiarized ourselves with flask to structure the backend as well. Used bootstrap templates and figures to design a clean, modern UI for users seeking to make both donations and requests.
What's next for MedEx
MedEx plans to continue. Being on the brink of alleviating much of the danger of such a large industrial flaw demonstrates the potential for this tool to bring serious change and improvement. Conceptually and practically MedEx presents a highly propitious direction for the future of healthcare equality at large.