Deep in sub-saharan Africa, many countries are plagued by the remnants of structural adjustment programs, widespread corruption, and stunted healthcare systems unable to provide for citizens. Vulnerable communities suffer from a lack of access to vital vaccines at clinics, and are unable to locate where they could even get their immunizations complete. From our collective understanding of this global health climate and personal experiences, we were aware that although many non-governmental organizations and local ministries operate in these nations, inefficiencies in resource management and distribution result in consistent error and loss of funds. As a result, tangible improvements at the expected magnitude are absent. Such a harsh reality puts the privileges our society grants in perspective. However, we CAN make a difference. By building a resource management platform that could help individuals understand their immunizations, vaccine records, and new vaccines to take in accordance with connecting to village pharmacies, Vaccicheck aims to help alleviate this global health crisis with the power of technology.
What it does
Vaccicheck aims to assist communities with developing healthcare systems as a end-to-end vaccine management tool! Enabling residents with a private yet usable portal, it becomes possible to safely keep track of immunization records AND register for where/when to administer their next vaccinations. Vaccicheck also intends to make it easy for clinics across regions to digitize and stay connected with patients for smarter, more efficient vaccine deployment.
How we built it
Aiming to design an application for users in developing nations like Malawi where internet access is not always readily available and not everyone had access to their own internet-ready devices, our deployment strategy was finalized to be a web app in which users could simply login.
To begin, we first designed what features are necessary and what would look like and how users would navigate through Vaccicheck using Figma. Concurrently, we designed our necessary tables and databased for the back-end on Firebase to ensure H. Bridging these fronts together, we used a React front-end to connect our database and develop the web application for our users. Afterwards, we applied CSS to create a front-end UI design that helped accentuate usability and match our Figma design.
Challenges we ran into
Granted that several of the members on the team had little experience with Firebase and connecting it with our React app, we ran into several roadblocks in connecting the two together as one cohesive project. Designing a no-SQL database using Firestore took some tutorials to understand exactly how documents and collections related. Thanks to tutorials we were able to establish authentication services on the app, but adding role-based permissions has been a struggle that we were not able to overcome. Ultimately, these challenges set us back, but with the time we had, we aimed to deliver a true minimum viable product.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We are proud to have accomplished designing a web application using React! Although some of our expected features are not yet functional, the learning experience of working remotely with a group of peers has been invaluable. Being able to communicate and tackle using technologies we had never heard about head on was one of the real accomplishments we made. On a programatic note, we are proud to have accomplished translating our Figma hi-fidelity wireframe designs to code and establishing our fully functioning authentication service through react.
What we learned
We learned more about how to use Firebase and creating a web application in React, as well as how to make our project responsive. We also learned valuable design skills that will aid us in future projects. We also learned how valuable it is to have up-to-date medical information and knowledge in today's society.
What's next for VacciCheck
On a programatic note, down the line, we would like to fully flesh out the clinic dashboard and portal as described in our Figma, complete the role-based permission authentication, and complete properly connecting our Google Maps API to our database to show accurate markers for pharmacies. While this project only spanned the course of two days, the impact it left on us is incredible. In the world we live in right now, medical information and understanding is valuable and many people do not have that. We would like change that, and possibly explore this again in the future to bring VacciCheck to reality.