I was mainly inspired by the COVID-19 pandemic and really wanted to do something about it, even a small contribution. I have had few friends living in the United States, unaware they were exposed to the virus and were still at homes, fortunately, one of them fell sick and that's when they all tested positive, as the virus doesn't necessarily show symptoms. This app is dedicated to them. By Neutralize, you can find out your nearest COVID testing center, book an appointment and hospitals would send you time slots for attending. By this, you don't have to stand in queues and risk yourself getting exposed to the virus. You can also mention any symptoms or probable exposures and even travels such that hospitals can send you immediate assistance if required.
What it does
The app allows users to select various COVID centers on the map, using Google Maps SDK and users can also visit any desired COVID center's website to go learn about them and book if needed. In the booking section, users can enter their name, age, and date for booking. The booking on submission will be verified by the hospital and they will provide you a slot accordingly. If the hospital is out of slots on the day, you booked, then you can delete your current booking and choose a new date or hospital as per your preference. Users can also add symptoms, probable exposure, and travel within 14 days if they wish so that hospitals can view this and provide assistance immediately if needed. Users can also delete symptoms if they wish or they can update new ones as well.
How I built it
The app is made with Firebase for the back-end and Flutter for the front-end. Google Maps SDK has been used for the map feature and Google Sign-in for secure and easy, hassle-free login. With Google Maps, I can change the Map type to Satellite or Normal according to the user preference, set markers on the map indicating the location of COVID centers. With Firebase, all data- adding, deleting, and updating is done quickly and also Firebase and Google Sign-in together provide, the current user's information such as profile pic, email, and name. Google Sign-in alone is used to signing into the app, hence user doesn't have to first sign up and then sign in, it all happens in one single tap.
Challenges I ran into
Few app crashes, using Firebase for Flutter sounds easy but I had tons of errors and this might have slowed me down a lot and I had to spend 6-8 hours figuring and fixing Firebase issues, but I'm happy and proud that I fixed all errors on my own and got to learn a lot about it.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
Fixing errors with Firebase is one of the biggest accomplishments, I'm proud of. Using Google Maps SDK for the first time was sort of difficult but in the end, I came out with something pretty good out of it.
What I learned
Time management and bug fixing. These two play a major role in my hack as they both go side by side, and I am really happy to have learned more about Firebase read writes and Cloud Firestore.
What's next for Neutralize
Getting in touch with hospitals, so they can manage the database and send out emails to the booked user, confirming their booking along with time slots. Sign-in with Apple will be added for iOS devices, even though Sign-in with Google also works for iOS users, but with Sign-in with Apple, users can use their FaceID or TouchID to login to the app, making it very seamless, especially with the iOS platform. Siri and Google Assistant integration will be added so that logged in users can book hospitals near them with their voice itself.
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