Our persona Jonas Pf. is highly unhappy with the current state of paper-based vaccination process. Firstly, he often forgets where he left his vaccination cards, up to the point that he travels without it. Last year he even got bitten by a stray dog in Thailand, so he had to get the full range of rabies vaccinations to be sure - his vacation was over. In line with this, he has no overview of his current status of vaccination refreshments, i.e., his Polio refreshment is severely overdue. Also, as he is a big traveller, and at least once a year he has to spend quite some time to figure out which vaccinations he has to get for his upcoming trips, often he visits the doctor without having to get additional vaccines - clearly a waste of time. Jonas, therefore, tried some of the few existing vaccination apps. However, most of them are designed for families, require many manual steps of entering vaccination data, as well as active interaction to look up dates and lack with regards to usability and user friendlyness. In order to solve his problems, he seeks a solution, which is durable, digital and user friendly.
What it does
VACCIPASS allows you to digitalize your paper card simply by scanning the document with your smartphone and stores your data securely in the cloud. In the future, it will replace the old system, so you can access your data anytime and anywhere with our flexible web app. Upcoming treatments will be directly entered into the system by a before-hand authenticated physician who signs it with a cryptographic signature. Simultaneously, it proactively pushs you all essential information about vaccinations: it automatically screens your calendar to look for your vacation trips and recommends you additional treatments; it also keeps track of your refreshments and reminds you on time with a recommendation of a suitable physician; if you once should forget a vaccination VACCIPASS alerts you if you are in a danger zone and supplies you with helpful facts. Basically, it is your central information hub, you can query our official WHO database manually, but also using a more natural, conversational interface: our chatbot.
How we built it
Our web app is implemented as a hybrid application using the Ionic framework. It will connect to our cloud services hosted on Amazon AWS. Our official WHO data is stored in a relational MySQL database on AWS RDS. We expose our functionality by using AWS API gateway that wraps several AWS Lambda functions. The Lambda functions are called by the Google Calendar Push API and by the chatbot via AWS Lex. For scanning the paper document, we plan to use state-of-the-art deep learning using convolutional neural networks and OCR. Our location services are built using the Google Maps API: it can be used to resolve a user's location and to find suitable physicians nearby.
Challenges we ran into
A lot. We had tons of ideas and thus needed to focus on a specific target persona - Jonas Pf. Implementationwise we encountered many hurdles: training CNNs was not realistic (no data, no time); using pre-existing cloud services is tempting and seems straightforward, but can be the source of trouble (e.g. domain authentication when integration Google Calendar and AWS Lambda is hindered by slow DNS processes).
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Our team, our result. We are convinced that our 22-hour-old prototype is awesome.
What we learned
As first-time hackathoners we learned a lot - time is valuable, sleep is not. Especially impressive is getting to know the wide range AWS services, really digging into a specific topic and build a user-centric solution.
What's next for VACCIPASS
Build the Web UI. Find a realistic, legal way for physician authentification and secure, long-term (over 90 years) way of storing the data. Add missing features, such as doctor search, mult-user function, functions specifically for first time parents. Integrate data from other online medical records in order to create one single unified medical healh record, etc. pp....