Every person on this planet has had their lives impacted by Covid-19. People have lost loved ones, jobs and even hope that one day things will get back to the “normal”. The vaccine is the only golden ticket out of this pandemic. History of previous flu vaccination campaigns and incredibly recent data have shown that there is a great loss of these valuable doses because of logistics issues (breaks in the cold storage/transporation chain, expiry, damage in transportation etc…). In France alone, 30% of ordered vaccines are lost and the UK the government aims for a maximum loss of 10%. Our team calculated, as you can see presentation, that actually more than half of the loss could be avoided if there existed an active platform to quickly and efficiently connect vaccine centres to the general public and prevent wastage from expiry. Seeing this number, we decided to create SaVaX.
What it does
Two key reasons lead to 6% of Covid-19 vaccines being wasted: all varieties of vaccine have a matter of hours with which they can be used once opened, and half of vaccines have a weekly degradation as they must be thawed for preparation. SaVaX directly targets the prevention of this wastage to end the pandemic sooner; saving lives, money and reducing manufacturing strain. SaVaX works by providing a platform for the civilian userbase to connect with vaccine administrators. Registered healthcare professionals at UK vaccination hubs can simply and quickly input any expiring vaccines into the app which then sends texts alerts to any users that spare vaccines are available. Unvaccinated users of the app are then able to book an appointment, preventing a wasted vaccination and making every shot count. your area
How we built it
Our product is an app called SaVaX which we have built as follows: On the front-end aspect, we used Framework 7 and Vue.JS; through expo in conjunction with vue native, the web app is cross-platform, and we also used a Google Maps API On the back-end aspect, we used MongoDB and JSON with Python deployed on google cloud as serverless functions. Using a MongoDB deployed also on GCP, we use pymongo connectors and hosted gcp functions to tie in between the frontend and backend. Alerts are generated real time on the Backend and stored on MongoDB.
Challenges we ran into
Over the course of the Cambridge hackathon, we faced multiple challenges, both technical and organizational, which we were able to tackle. The first one being working in different time zones: between the US, UK and France. Not everyone is up at the same time which can slow down complementary work for example. On top of that, the whole team was mainly skilled in back-end, with very little front-end experience. It was a first even for most of us, having to pick up the basics quickly to help out the team. More specifically, issues with node/npm, preventing even past projects to run. Or path issues when running each other’s code, or even understanding git for some of us newbies…
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We managed to take our idea from a theoretical to a practical space: after doing the calculations to confirm that SaVaX would genuinely make a substantial positive difference for all of society, we then managed to create an aesthetic, simple, yet innovative platform that will prevent the wastage of vaccinations. We are a brand new team that has created a platform in a short timescale: the five of us met for the first time in the team forming sessions and we have managed to effectively combine our different skill sets to realise our idea, learn new skills, and also get to know each other.
What we learned
Our whole team was less experienced with the front-end and we learnt a new platform and implemented it effectively. We also learnt a lot about vaccine management, manufacture and distribution in order to create the best and most effective platform for preventing vaccine waste. Finally, this was a first hackathon for two of us and we learnt loads from the more experienced members of the team and by participating in the event!
What's next for SaVaX
The next steps for SaVaX are very clear. In the short term, we hope to first integrate it to the NHS app to facilitate patient identification and vaccination tracking among the population. Then, SaVaX will be able to display its efficiency and goodness-of-use which will facilitate its export worldwide. For example, 30% of shots are wasted in France and our platform could be easily incorporated alongside their “Stop Covid” app (similarly to the UK’s NHS app).