Inspiration

The web is an incredible opportunity for medical professionals to easily share information about clinical studies and other medical knowledge, with the only issue is that they do not have a platform on which they can communicate with other professionals or individuals that are interested in their work. Also, designing documents that include things like images and formatting is often very complicated for medical professionals who have little to no computer training.

What it does

Built alongside Kevan Lu, a recent medical graduate starting his residency in Otolaryngology, Pub(lish)Med is a website built for medical professionals to share their information using an simplistic editing environment and the ability to save, edit, and publish documents instantaneously.

How I built it

We used Jekyll to power this site, written in HTML, CSS, and Javascript. We created a Firebase database which holds information regarding user credentials and all of their published and private documents.

Challenges I ran into

Designing and communicating with the database was a lot different from my previous experiences using DBMSs like mySQL and PostgreSQL. We had to make the decision of how to organize the documents: by public/private or by user. Due to the scope of how many users we had, and due to privacy, we decided to put references to all the public documents in one section of the database and make the database calls from there when we had to query all published documents for the "View" page.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

Anytime I successfully learn a new package, framework, or tech skill, I'm pretty proud of this project. I'd never touched Jekyll or Firebase so having learned that, I feel that I grew in that respect. I'm also proud that we built something that could have an impact on how we share information about healthcare, which is still a very unexplored field of tech. In general, the ability to make a task simplified for another person means that we're doing our jobs right.

What I learned

Kevan's original idea and layout for the site was very easy to jump on to. This project gave me a lot of sprint-like experience in dealing with databases and creation of dynamic pages. This project also helped me reflect on the actual applications and possibilities of a project like Pub(lish)Med, like the restrictions by the healthcare system on what could and could not be shared.

What's next for publishmed

Pub(lish)Med still has a ways to go before it can be adopted by medical professionals; apart from the bugs, there are several functions that we would like to add like search. We would also be looking to partner with a healthcare platform like a hospital to make this project useful.

See a demo here or take a look at the Github project here!

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