The information that exists online about COVID-19 today is far too scattered and complicated for the average person to understand; there is also a growing concern over misinformation and fake news that is being spread on the topic. Project Covid is the solution to these problems.

What it does

Our iOS and Android apps come loaded with live outbreak trackers, testing center information, breaking news stories from verified sources, live travel information, along with verified information on best practices, knowledge about the virus, educational toolkits, student resources, mental health resources, and crisis contact information.

How we built it

22 college students from around the United States who are passionate about helping the world came together to identify, analyze, and curate verified information and resources from several online and offline sources in one place to help anyone looking to gain knowledge, information, and resources about COVID-19. Our diverse team comprises students with credible experiences in healthcare, health literacy, and technology.

Below is the list of all the information sources that we’ve utilized: The Lancet Commission World Health Organization (WHO) UNICEF Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) MMR Journal TIME Magazine John Hopkins University - Department of Medicine Harvard University - Department of Health University of Michigan - Department of Medicine Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Health Commission of the People's Republic of China European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control

We selected pre-existing, citable sources that we trust in our technological development, including: Embed Twitter Feed WHO Associated Press BBC New York Times Aljazeera Reuters NPR Bloomberg CDC

The app is coded in React Native. This allows us to deploy to both Android and iOS at the same time. We are using Expo, React Navigation, and React Elements inside the mobile app. We embed the twitter feed and by using a WebView.

The backend is coded in Node.JS and is an Express server. We use it to communicate with third-party APIs. This backend is hosted on Heroku. This is our backend server. All sensitive user information has tokens to ensure data security. All other data regarding the app is available to the public for GET requests, although the data received would be very similar to other public APIs. The APIs we use are: (Data on the spread of virus) News API (News Data) MapQuest (Reverse Geocoding) Spacy (NLP Processing) We store user permission tokens for push notifications and user services in a MongoDB database hosted by Atlas. We do not store any other data from our users.

We have some backend functionality regarding word processing and machine learning in Python. This information is then routed back into Node.JS.

Challenges we ran into

We are running issues into potentially scaling. If we have a lot of users accessing our app at the same time, our backend will be making a lot of API calls to other servers, some of which are not needed. We need to make our backend more efficient.

What's next for Project Covid

Many new features are in development:

A page featuring the latest information on global travel bans. Once we find a trustworthy and reliable data source, we will implement it right away. A smart news feed, pulling the most noteworthy headlines sources in the app itself. We want these to include local headlines to best tailor the app to the user. A sentiment-based news feature that will allow our users to filter news based on the type (positive or negative) of news content that you would like to see. When information about testing centers is more widely available, we would like a feature where you can find the nearest testing location to you on a map. We also have other broader plans to include more statistics and video content.

How to Try it Out

  1. Clone the Repo
  2. Have node.js installed.
  3. If you are running windows you need to go into the command prompt as an admin and run set-executionpolicy remotesigned
  4. Run this command globally: npm install expo-cli --global
  5. CD into the mobile folder (CoronaInfo/corona-mobile)
  6. Run npm install
  7. run npm start (orexpo start`)
  8. Download the expo app
  9. Download Expo client for Android from the Play Store OR Download Expo client for iOS from the App Store
  10. Use your normal camera to scan the QR code that is opened in the window from the expo start, and that will open up our app on your phone.
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