Inspiration

Big tech puts billions in designing for the mass consumer. A leading electronics manufacturer will spend as much time and money as needed to make sure the user interface on the new phone is perfectly intuitive. But do we put the same emphasis on tools we expect cancer patients to use?

Why does it seem fine to offer a rough user experience for people that have the least tolerance for wasting time? Lets do better and show that we can use technology for better things than cat videos and animated emojis.

What it does

We propose to collect cancer treatment outcome data with a naturally flowing conversation with a chatbot. Our solution has a web interface, but the NLP logic is real and we could easily extend it to talk to the less tech savvy patients on the phone. This is supposed to make it easier for people to share, and a little more humane -- no checkboxes, tell us how you feel with your own words.

We build an ad hoc social circle of people with similar history and outcomes, so you can share stories anonymously, give a virtual hug, and give a person in need a mental lift. Make it meaningful, but also discrete, anonymous, and strictly opt-in. No social media creepiness, no selling of data, your communication is shared only between willing participants.

We also have some basic visuals to show you how you are doing - to give you a perspective. You feel down now, but maybe you did so 3 months ago and you climbed back? A chart will show. Its not very polished in this regard, but this is easy to improve.

How we built it

Backend:

  • hosting in gcp cloud run
  • firestore for persistence
  • dialogflow for NLP
  • python/fastapi/starlette/uvicorn for web stack for apis

Frontend:

  • react / javascript / ionic
  • heroku
  • recharts

Challenges we ran into

  • we wanted to do telephony on top of text based chatbot, but run out of time with the setup
  • social elements and classifiers to build ad hoc social networks would need more research

Accomplishments that we're proud of

  • we formed a great, fun team, even though we didn't know each other before friday evening
  • we took a challenge, and did it from scratch without a single line of code done before the hack
  • we have a real chatbot with a real state machine, live apis for the front, live frontend!

What we learned

  • any challenge is doable and interesting in the right company

What's next for Together

  • who knows. we know that pharma companies have all the resources in the world to make a breakthrough here -- especially that it does not cost much. hope we can offer some inspiration and play a small part in getting the help for people in need

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