At Cruzhacks, Healthmate was created to address the shortages of doctors and other health professionals in rural and remote areas. The TokBox API and Google's Firebase were implemented to allow virtual access to a healthcare professional in even rural areas. This project was challenging as we were the only high school attendees at the entire hackathon, but in the end, we got most implementation (including video and voice calling) working.
Getting sick is never convenient, especially in rural areas. But this shouldn't block access to quality medical care. That’s what Healthmate aims to solve, by allowing remote access to see a doctor anytime, anywhere, and for any reason, via voice calls or a secure online video.
Over 17% of Americans still live in rural areas, where access to proper healthcare is severely limited. This is even more so of an issue in the rest of the world.Health disparities affect millions in rural communities across the globe. Many drive hundreds of miles to get to the nearest hospital. Many simply don't have the time or money. Healthmate aims to solve these issues, along with the issue of lower life expectancy in rural areas with one single service.
Our solution to the issue of limited health access in rural areas is a website/webapp that allows for remote connection to a doctor. A doctor may tend to several patients at once if symptoms are similar as this makes the process more efficient. Users would apply to sign up for an account based on medical records and current financial status. After they have been verified they can connect with a doctor online. This entire service is intended for younger doctors to foster more experience with patients, and for people in rural areas to have readily available access to healthcare.
This intends to tackle the issue of limited health access. By using the internet to connect clients and doctors across the globe, everyone can get access to healthcare, no matter how poor or far away they are from a facility.
To build our site, we used Google's Firebase, the TokBox API, and Bootstrap for responsiveness.
As for the code, we initially encountered a lot of bugs and had issues with Firebase. Additionally, the TokBox API was inconsistent (it was our first time using the API, which was easy to set up but we did SOMETHING incorrectly). However, after a while and pulling an all-nighter, we were able to fix all of the bugs we encountered.
From our testing of our prototype, although not fully practical, included quite a lot of functionally. The video calling features, as well as creating an account as a doctor vs a patient worked exactly as intended. However, there are many improvements that we could have made but we were pressed for time.
The judges seemed fairly impressed with our project, especially since we were just high school students. Although we didn't end up winning anything, it was overall a great experience and we got to meet and speak with many seasoned programmers.
Feel free to try out and browse around the website.