During our ideation process, one of the first things that we were able to relate to as a group is the unique perspective we share regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. All three of us have at least one family member who currently works as a frontline healthcare worker, and so we immediately bonded over our appreciation for those putting themselves at risk in order to save the lives of others. We knew coming in that there would be a lot of teams focused on building apps for contact tracing and early diagnosis, but we felt that a more powerful way to make an impact would be to make something that benefits healthcare workers and medical professionals.
Our first challenge wasn't so much technical, but more based on the direction and scope of our project. We were tempted to build an All-In-One All-Inclusive Round-Trip type of super app but we realized that there were two problems there: One. We're not that cool. Two. We wouldn't be helping nurses and doctors in an efficient, productive way. Instead, we targeted a specific problem in nursing units that we felt caused the most distress to both nurses and patients, and that was the patient call system. Literally, some of the current paging systems in use collect dust as the unit secretaries use them. We decided to build a streamlined system that could drastically improve the workflow and communication of nursing units, and off to the races we went.
We built the mobile app using React Native, and both the server and desktop program were built in Java. We also utilized tools such as Node.js, Express.js, and MongoDB.
Learning is cool
Through the ideation and development process, we were able to learn a lot about finding an audience and knowing that audience and what they want/need. We also learned that its important to pinpoint problems in order to develop solutions that make sense and carry impact. From a technical perspective, we were able to gain experience working with servers and sockets and all that backend jazz. We also learned that sleep is important zzzzzz.