Having recently been to the doctor's office we realised that there was a real problem with the absurd waiting times to get to your appointment. Often, you would arrive at the time of your appointment and you'd only get seen 30+ minutes past from the moment you arrive.
It turns out we're not alone. In fact, over 1 in 5 Australians feel like they've waited longer than what's acceptable in their visit to the GP. Alongside, with the rise of Covid 19, there was a real need to minimize contact/exposure with others, especially with the high risk of contracting virus in the waiting room.
We set about building a solution that was easy to use as well as an improved and streamlined experience that we named "Qube".
What it does
Qube is a system that allows you to search, book, and queue doctor appointments. We made a user-friendly application for everyone to use and implemented a clean and modern UI. Through Qube, you're able to search for clinics and doctors, book an appointment, and when it's time for your appointment, you can monitor how late the doctor is running, allowing you to know when to leave your house to get there in time.
With map integrations, we are able to predict how long it should take for the patient to reach the clinic, allowing us to send push notifications/texts prompting them to leave and allowing us to better manage how many people are waiting in the physical waiting room.
We also built up an accompanying website allowing the receptionist to manage patients and patient times and have inbuilt predictions to better identify the predicted length of appointments.
How we built it
We first started with a Figma Prototype for the app while on the ideation stage of our hack. We developed the solution using React Native for our frontend so that it was compatible with both iOS and Android right out of the gate. We chose to host everything in AWS using an API Gateway backed by some Lambda functions. These functions are called a dynamo DB table to insert and manage patients in a virtual queue. We had a function to admit users into the virtual queue, one to get the status of individual patients in the queue, another to process a user when they are at the front of the queue, and finally, an admin-only function to list all the patients that are in the queue at any given time. Using AWS allowed us to create a cost-effective, easily scalable solution which we were able to deploy in the limited time constraints of the hack.
Challenges we ran into
The challenges we ran into came at us hard and fast. We had issues big and small, with a bunch of software and hardware problems. As usual, there were formatting struggles, API integration errors as well as obligatory merge conflicts that seem to never go away. In and amongst all that we had some laptop overheating issues, running out of storage space and how can I forget the biggest issue of all, keeping awake.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
As a team, we are incredibly proud of what we've been able to produce in the short 48 hours of the hack. We were able to develop a complete solution that we think solves a pretty important issue concerning public health. Our app presents itself with a clean and easy-to-use UI to solve problems faced by people every single day. Therefore we cannot be more proud of what we've been able to achieve this hack. We are also really proud of our pitch video and the amount of work we were able to put out in such a short amount of time. However in saying that we were all able to bond more as a team and get to know a lot more about each other. I feel like the biggest achievement of all is the lifelong friendships we've been able to create from this hackathon.
What we learned
We picked up a lot of new skills this hack, learned a lot about React Native, AWS and UI design skills along the way. We were able to learn a lot as a team, both soft skills as well as technically, and were all able to further ourselves as individuals and aspiring professionals.
What's next for Qube
We have big plans for Qube, we are planning to try and bring it to life and start trials with clinics in melbourne and hopefully expanding out to the world.