Our inspiration for this product came from the current pandemic crisis. Covid variants such as the Delta virus are ravaging communities that are mostly unvaccinated in the US. This past week alone there was a daily average of 50,000 recorded cases in the US. Furthermore, 50% of our population remains non fully vaccinated. Accessibility to vaccination clinics plays a huge role in whether someone will choose to get a vaccine. Our app fixes this issue by providing users with a very simple interface to find nearby clinics and hospitals. And so we present to you... VaxFinder!

What it does

VaxFinder helps people locate vaccination clinics quickly and effectively. Users are able to simply text a phone number, enter their location, set any preferences for a desired hospital/clinic, then we respond with the best possible location and a route. No need to download an app or make a google search.

How we built it

We built VaxFinder using the Twilio API, which allows sending and receiving text messages. We listen on a node server where we aggregate ArcGIS functionality, and specifically the Vaccination site Dataset on the Esri website. Using this information, we have the power to determine where vaccination clinics are located. We implement a weight system to give priority to locations that we deem safer. Once we find a suitable location, we message that to the client with a custom map built with the ArcGIS Javascript API and directions to that location.

Challenges we ran into

Some big challenges we faced were implementing the ArcGIS api to access JSON data from online hosted maps. This information was necessary in the server but difficult to obtain. Building the Twilio interface did pose challenges as well later on as we encountered strange technical issues. Our group was also formed very last minute (Friday at 2pm) so our time to thoroughly discuss the technology stack and concept were limited.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We each took on responsibilities throughout this project to make things happen quickly. We successfully built a fantastic product that we are all proud of. Our ability to work through problems together as a team was also exceptional as we provided each other help when requested.

What we learned

We learned a lot about Esri's products throughout this Hackathon.

What's next for VaxFinder

VaxFinder should be a public project that people are made aware of. We should provide a sophisticated algorithm for determining the best possible clinic, as well as aggregating data from numerous trusted sources.

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