Changing the way elderly access technology: Hack Street Boys using Exotel APIs

  • July 11, 2017
  • 2 mins read

We at Exotel are huge fans of hackathons. We don’t just love taking part in them, but also like hosting them to encourage people to use our APIs anywhere they find suitable. It’s like giving wings to innovation by offering our technology and giving them a platform to run wild with their imagination.

But what we love the most about hackathons is the fact that there’s always a new solution that can be used by someone, somewhere in the world!

At Hack for Change, Exotel participated as one of the enablers, offering our API to see how innovative techies could get. Turned out, that some of them together found a unique way to empower the elderly.

The idea was to bring the elderly up-to-speed with all the technical advancements in the various areas of their day-to-day lives. The team, Hack Street Boys, decided to loop in caretakers who are technically adept and build a bridge between them and the senior citizens.

Apps using Exotel APIs to empower the elderly

Using the Exotel API, the Hack Street Boys opened up a whole new space of opportunities for caretakers and the elderly to connect with doctors and medical stores in a timely manner.

The apps created served three basic, but very important features for the elderly:

  1. Healthcare Hotline
  2. SOS for elderly
  3. Caretaker reminders


The Elderly app

The app tracks the location of the senior citizens and enables them to connect with the nearby health facilities. Using Exotel’s APIs (like call API, SMS API), these smart techies created a single tap emergency hotline that calls the Exotel number and uses redirection to connect the elderly directly to healthcare providers within seconds.

Another feature they implemented is the ability to detect a fall in the elderly. This is an imperative feature that automatically triggers a call and an SMS alert to the caretakers. Additionally, if the elderly person presses the SOS button, a call as well an SMS can be sent to the caretaker immediately.

The Caretaker app

Caretakers are assigned to the elderly to take care of all their healthcare requirements and concerns. The app designed was to let them function effectively with the growing needs of the senior citizen.

The Hack Street Boys used Exotel APIs to create reminders in the app, about:

  • Healthcare visitation
  • Buying medicines
  • Regular checkups at the hospital
  • And more!

While the app offers push notifications, it also gives the caretaker the choice to receive alerts via SMS using Exotel. This made the app a fail proof method to cater to the elderly’s needs even in cases of low internet connectivity.  

The way ahead

Monik from the Hack Street Boys says, “Exotel’s APIs have been a fairly easy SDK to use, making it easy to code and start using it for the apps. Thanks to the Python examples on Exotel’s GitHub, we were able to integrate the connect to agent and SMS APIs quickly in our Django application.”

While the apps are currently in the market survey stage to be able to understand the exact needs and customise solutions, they are available only to a limited number of people.

Having worked with a lot of techies over time, we at Exotel, truly think these apps are revolutionary.  They will change the way technology is perceived by the older generation and how healthcare is facilitated to them in a timely manner.


Manisha Mishra

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