SMSDoc at PennApps XIV

At PennApps this year – my first shot at the world's most most famous hacking tradition – my team (Ridoy Majumdar, Animesh Fatehpuria, and Saul Aryeh Kohn) and I designed and built a two-pronged service designed to bring free, accessible life-or-death healthcare information to the developing world, and to allow NGO's to track the spread of epidemics – before they even begin. We created SMSDoc, which allows people who have mobile phones (but not Internet access; most people in areas like Sub-Saharan Africa have SMS-only cell phones) to text in their symptoms, have a conversation with a NLP-enabled AI that, after 5-10 questions, can give them a fairly accurate diagnosis based on their symptoms, tell them how severe their ailment is, and direct them to their nearest hospital or health clinic.

The information on the user and their symptoms are stored in a database and show up in our webapp, live, on a heatmap of the world, so doctors and NGO's can track similar symptoms and outbreaks, spotting trends and working to solve them even before they spread to become huge epidemics.

A screenshot of the epidimielogy heatmap webapp

A screenshot of the epidimielogy webapp with individual case details listed after a query for "Zika"