While we were brainstorming for ideas, we realized that two of our teammates are international students from India also from the University of Waterloo. Their inspiration to create this project was based on what they had seen in real life. Noticing how impactful access to proper healthcare can be, and how much this depends on your socioeconomic status, we decided on creating a healthcare kiosk that can be used by people in developing nations. By designing interface that focuses heavily on images; it can be understood by those that are illiterate as is the case in many developing nations, or can bypass language barriers. This application is the perfect combination of all of our interests; and allows us to use tech for social good by improving accessibility in the healthcare industry.
What it does
Our service, Medi-Stand is targeted towards residents of regions who will have the opportunity to monitor their health through regular self administered check-ups. By creating healthy citizens, Medi-Stand has the potential to curb the spread of infectious diseases before they become a bane to the society and build a more productive society. Health care reforms are becoming more and more necessary for third world nations to progress economically and move towards developed economies that place greater emphasis on human capital. We have also included supply-side policies and government injections through the integration of systems that have the ability to streamline this process through the creation of a database and eliminating all paper-work thus making the entire process more streamlined for both- patients and the doctors. This service will be available to patients through kiosks present near local communities to save their time and keep their health in check. By creating a profile the first time you use this system in a government run healthcare facility, users can create a profile and upload health data that is currently on paper or in emails all over the interwebs. By inputting this information for the first time manually into the database, we can access it later using the system we’ve developed. Overtime, the data can be inputted automatically using sensors on the Kiosk and by the doctor during consultations; but this depends on 100% compliance.
How I built it
In terms of the UX/UI, this was designed using Sketch. By beginning with the creation of mock ups on various sheets of paper, 2 members of the team brainstormed customer requirements for a healthcare system of this magnitude and what features we would be able to implement in a short period of time. After hours of deliberation and finding ways to present this, we decided to create a simple interface with 6 different screens that a user would be faced with. After choosing basic icons, a font that could be understood by those with dyslexia, and accessible colours (ie those that can be understood even by the colour blind); we had successfully created a user interface that could be easily understood by a large population. In terms of developing the backend, we wanted to create the doctor’s side of the app so that they could access patient information. IT was written in XCode and connects to Firebase database which connects to the patient’s information and simply displays this visually on an IPhone emulator. The database entries were fetched in Json notation, using requests. In terms of using the Arduino hardware, we used Grove temperature sensor V1.2 along with a Grove base shield to read the values from the sensor and display it on the screen. The device has a detectable range of -40 to 150 C and has an accuracy of ±1.5 C.
Challenges I ran into
When designing the product, one of the challenges we chose to tackle was an accessibility challenge. We had trouble understanding how we can turn a healthcare product more accessible. Oftentimes, healthcare products exist from the doctor side and the patients simply take home their prescription and hold the doctors to an unnecessarily high level of expectations. We wanted to allow both sides of this interaction to understand what was happening, which is where the app came in. After speaking to our teammates, they made it clear that many of the people from lower income households in a developing nation such as India are not able to access hospitals due to the high costs; and cannot use other sources to obtain this information due to accessibility issues. I spent lots of time researching how to make this a user friendly app and what principles other designers had incorporated into their apps to make it accessible. By doing so, we lost lots of time focusing more on accessibility than overall design. Though we adhered to the challenge requirements, this may have come at the loss of a more positive user experience.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
For half the team, this was their first Hackathon. Having never experienced the thrill of designing a product from start to finish, being able to turn an idea into more than just a set of wireframes was an amazing accomplishment that the entire team is proud of. We are extremely happy with the UX/UI that we were able to create given that this is only our second time using Sketch; especially the fact that we learned how to link and use transactions to create a live demo. In terms of the backend, this was our first time developing an iOS app, and the fact that we were able to create a fully functioning app that could demo on our phones was a pretty great feat!
What I learned
We learned the basics of front-end and back-end development as well as how to make designs more accessible.
What's next for MediStand
Integrate the various features of this prototype. How can we make this a global hack? MediStand is a private company that can begin to sell its software to the governments (as these are the people who focus on providing healthcare) Finding more ways to make this product more accessible