Shortages of face masks, proper PPE, and other medical equipment is a significant issue not just in the US but also worldwide. In fact, researchers estimate that ICU needs are fifty times higher than the available capacity of beds and ventilators. After browsing through various research articles and journals on covid-19, we decided to dedicate our efforts to finding efficient methods of funding. Through this project, we hope to help communities experiencing shortages of medical equipment such as ventilators, hospital beds, ECMO devices, etc. by distributing funding more efficiently based on the most up-to-date statistics of COVID-19 cases.

What it does

Our website provides users with a visual representation of COVID-19 data for each state. Resources, contact links, and information regarding the validity of the data presented can easily be found on the website. We aim to provide transparent and clear communication with our users who may feel overwhelmed and worried.

How we built it

Our project was built using Netbeans web applications with an Apache TomCat backend server. The backend consisted of Java with htmlunit as the web scraper to consistently gather statistics from various websites, such as Google tracking of COVID-19 and the website for the American Hospital Directory. Java servlets were used to communicate the gathered statistics and display them on our frontend html website. Javascript was also used in our backend to interact with the DOM elements of web pages and in our frontend to power our website.

Challenges we ran into

Throughout our hackathon experience we faced obstacles in utilizing NetBeans servers, webserverlets, and securely connecting to remote networks to gather data. One specific obstacle was trying to figure out why our website was no longer running on NetBeams and appearing in our web browser. After many attempts of closing and opening up NetBeams, and even deleting the HTML and reloading it, the problem still persisted. We decided to see if anyone else on the internet had faced the same problem. After reading multiple posts we figured out that we had to clear the browser cache. Another problem was finding a way to connect our java code to html. Since we weren’t using the JSP framework, this proved to be difficult since there wasn’t any way to display the raw data we gathered in html. So we decided to use the built-in Java servlets in netbeans. Although they are inherently used for different purposes (to build an html page from scratch), we were able to successfully embed our Java code into our website.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

Finishing this hackathon! We have been working on this project for a while now and it is empowering to see our finished product. We entered this hackathon with little knowledge on the platforms we were using (neither of us used Netbeans before or built a website from scratch) and learned most of the tools we implemented along the way. We are now more familiar with the underlying components of building a website and seamlessly connecting various components of the backend and frontend together.

What we learned

The constraints that we found with the virtual hackathon become our one of sources of innovation. Our team found unique ways to communicate, share code, and edit each other’s work. We also not only learned how to use NetBeans and webserverlets, but also how to help the other person overcome obstacles. The unique situation of the hackathon being virtual highlighted the importance of our team being able to independently share out work.

What's next for COVID-19 Funding

This website is actually based on many approximations on the number of hospital beds available, confirmed cases, deaths, recoveries, etc. We hope to improve the accuracy of the statistics gathered by using a machine-learning model that can accurately predict COVID-19 stats based on multiple websites. Also, we hope to integrate more data into our website so that accurate decisions on the recommended amount of global funding can also be drawn.

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