Older adults struggle to access COVID-19 vaccine appointment websites.
They’re not accessible for people who need them most.
Buggy websites and complex online tools are being used to schedule COVID-19 vaccine appointments across the United States. The systems are hard to navigate for many people, but they’re particularly inaccessible for older adults. People over the ages of 65 and 75 are prioritized for early waves of vaccination and are most at risk from COVID-19 — but they’re also often uncomfortable and unfamiliar with technology.
For Santa Clara County, it takes 19 pages 67 clicks, every day to see if there's a vaccine appointment available.
This is unacceptable.
It's simple. Answer a short questionnaire to determine your eligibility, pick your favorite mode of communication, then sit back & relax.
Our backend automatically aggregates all 7 of the county's vaccine provider's availability into one system in real-time. When an appointment becomes available at a provider for your eligibility status, we'll let you know with the direct link to register for that healthcare provider at that appointment time.
How we built it
For the backend system, we're using Azure's App Service to host a Flask application that scrapes each healthcare provider's website. If an appointment is available, we use Twilio to email, call, or text the link directly to that appointment's signup page.
To build the frontend website, we used HTML, CSS, and ReactJS hosted on Azure.
Challenges we ran into
Many of the technologies we worked with on this project are ones that we've never used before. It was challenging to even get started to use some of these services.
Also, healthcare provider's appointment websites are messy. They don't have an API for appointment times, and each system is different. It was challenging to scrape and aggregate all the data in the same place.
What's next for VaxTrax
In the future, we hope to increase its functionality for even more counties & states, allowing people across the entire U.S. to get notified for vaccination appointments in local area.