Living in a COVID pandemic has brought increased attention towards the healthcare system, so we thought up an app that would make connecting patients with doctors an easy and painless process. Our goal was to come up with an app that can facilitate this process by helping people overcome the one of biggest barriers in preemptively reaching out to doctors: inconvenience.
What it does
Talk2Doc allows patients to match up with an available doctor who will provide medical advice based on the severity of their symptoms over the next few weeks. New patients can choose doctors based on rating and the time they will be available for a live consultation. Patients will then login daily to enter the severity of their symptoms, as well as any concerns they have with their current treatments. The doctor can view the symptom history for assigned patients, update their prescription and p.
How we built it
We split our 4-man team into 2 groups: front-end and back-end. Nihal and Harvey worked on designing the front-end UI, beautifying it with Bootstrap and custom CSS, and also implementing JS to help connect the frontend to the backend. Kevin worked primarily on implementing the Axios HTTP Client in JS to allow the frontend to send requests to the backend. Victor used Python with the Flask framework to develop the backend server and connect it to an SQLite database.
Challenges we ran into
We were unsure of how to coordinate the workload at first because we didn’t really know how much work the frontend and backend each required. It was also challenging to manage our differences in proficiency in coding languages. Victor specializes in backend work with Python and Flask while Kevin works mainly with HTML, CSS, and JS but with the React framework and Node JS as a fullstack developer. Nihal and Harvey both had limited familiarity with how the backend works and instead dedicated most of their energy into designing the UI with HTML, CSS, and the Bootstrap library. Of course, it was very challenging to implement the frontend with JS while implementing the backend with Python as we had to rely solely on Victor’s knowledge of python to navigate through the backend. Along the way, Kevin had to learn jQuery and JS syntax because he was only familiar in web development with React but not with native JS. We also realized partway through that Victor lives in Romania and not in the US, so we had a significant time zone discrepancy that we had to work through.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We were able to put together the frontend and backend for two different user interfaces: the doctor page and patient page. We're really proud of the fact that despite not knowing how to exactly code the front and back end and connecting them together, we were able to do so by learning on the spot, problem solving, and utilizing a strong work ethic all the way through the hackathon.
What we learned
We got more familiar with the libraries needed for web development (jQuery in particular). We also learned more about the ins-and-outs of Axios and how exactly it sends requests to the backend and how the backend, irregardless of the language, can handle those requests and send back responses. Kevin, in particular, learned how to code the frontend without the help of the React framework. In hindsight, we definitely could have planned out the features and workload a lot better, which could have prevented the all-nighters and close-to-burnout moments we experienced.
What's next for Talk2Doc
Talk2Doc would benefit from a more refined doctor/user dashboard that incorporates more features that we would have planned had we had more time (e.g. accessing user profile information, social media links, request emergency help button etc.). We also could have added more security to protect user info and authentication if we were afforded more time. Despite working tirelessly on this project for more than a day, we are still far from satisfied with our goal. In the future, we might potentially spend more time developing this project and launching it into the market.
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