A Free and Open Hospital Navigation Service with superb Accuracy !!!

Inspiration 💡

Hospitals are becoming huge and complex. As a result, finding a patient room or any department becomes a tedious task. In some unforeseen situations, it gets worse. The lack of reliable open-source indoor navigation systems and costly proprietary software demotes authorities from providing a hospital navigation system. So there exists a need for a reliable assistance that can help users to reach their destination from anywhere inside the hospital.

What does it do? 🖥️

This app basically takes 2 inputs from the user. First is the source, where the user is currently located(room no etc) and the second is the destination, where the user wants to reach. Then the app calculates the shortest path between the source and the destination. Then it is presented on the layout of the hospital, so the user can easily reach the desired destination. The app also has an SOS feature, which enables them to contact hospital admins in case of an emergency.

Built Using ⚒️

The front end of the app is built using flutter. The backend is written in python using flask and hosted on Heroku. The emergency feature is built using Twilio API.

Challenges We ran into 🏃‍♀️

The main challenge in the project was to find the path from source and destination. In order to solve this, we used graph techniques where each room acts as a node, and the distance between rooms acts as a weighted edge. And the path is calculated by Dijkstra's algorithm. The next challenge we faced was to show this route on the map, and this was solved using an image-overlay-map (flutter), in which we can locate points on the layout(image).

The next challenge is to follow up on the above i.e, to handle cases when we need to show paths among different floors, the solution is to add a button functionality through which the user can navigate among different floors.

Accomplishments that we are proud of 🌟

We are very proud of the design of this project. The app is very light and compatible. With little modification, we can design this navigation assistant for any premises like educational institutions, government offices, etc. This is a cost-effective application, which requires no high-end architecture and high-end services. The server is hosted on Heroku free service.

What's Next? ⏭️

At present the user has to provide information about the current location, the future scope of this project aims to eliminate this by using finding the place of the user. So the users have to mention the destination only. The caching functionality can be implemented at the server level to even reduce the execution time.

References 📚

  1. image overlay map
  2. SMS using Twilio
  3. NaviG
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