One of the bigger problems in healthcare that has become apparent over the past few years is that ER wait times are too long in Canada. Obviously, it would not be possible to solve this problem within a span of a single 24 hour hackathon, but it is possible to try to mitigate the effects as much as possible. Our service will give ER personnel the data necessary to choose which hospital to go to based on availability.

What it does

It is a service for EMS personnel and the general public at large that gives real time data on ER availability in hospitals. It has two modes, one with a map for the general public and one without for EMS who already know where the hospitals are and just want the data at their fingertips.

How we built it

Using Python, we programmed the Qualcomm Dragonboard 410C to forward input from GPIO pins to a TypeScript Firebase cloud function. This board served as the backbone of our project and represents a bed sensor hub. We then setup the Firebase Firestore database so that we could actually store the pushed data from the board.

Finally, we built a website to display the data using Bulma. The website incorporated City of Hamilton OpenHamilton data for the hospitals' locations and displayed them on a HERE map.

Challenges we ran into

We had a crazy amount of hardware issues with the Dragonboard 410C and peripherals. Connecting the Dragonboard 410C to WiFi was painful. First, the display and breakout board did not fit on at the same time, so all interfacing had to be done over a terminal (with breakout board) or with on-screen keyboard (with display) because the keyboard did not work. After we finally got it to connect to WiFi (and login through the capture portal, a challenge in and of itself), over three quarters of the buttons we tried to use did not work. Even though we had an (albeit small) number of buttons, we couldn't figure out the pinout of the breakout board and it took hours to find a schematic online.

Coordinating tasks where a majority of the team had never done application programming before was challenging but worth it in the end.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

Every single one of our members worked with tools, services, and languages which they have either never heard of or never touched with a foot-long pole. Somehow we have a working product.

What we learned

  • Efficient usage of Git
  • Integrating Google Cloud Platform into an app, specifically Firebase's Firestore
  • For the half of the team who've never done non-contest programming, non-contest programming

What's next for

  • Bootstrapping and implementing actual hospital data from real hospitals.
  • Getting and not since none of us have credit cards.
  • Building a proper mobile app.
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