This week marked the kick-off of the COMP0016 module. We were assigned teams and a project titled NHS1 Voiceflow to SMS. This project is in collaboration with UCL Industry Exchange Network (IXN), where we are a group of three 2nd Year Computer Science students who work on developing a solution for a real-world problem.

Throughout these next two terms, we will be working through the entire software development process, starting from Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) through to prototyping, testing, and finally handing over the project to the client.

The Problem

What problem does the project aim to solve?

The NHS has been under immense pressure with the current global pandemic. People have been calling NHS helplines for generic queries, and this wastes time that could be put towards people in need of serious help.

They already have a chatbot solution, but it is only deployable on Amazon and Google smart-speakers. The majority of people don't have access to smart-speakers so the chatbot service isn't as effective as the NHS hoped.

The Solution

With our project, clinicians would design conversations on Voiceflow to advise people and deploy it on SMS — a platform that is much more widely accessible than the internet and smart-speakers. An SMS chatbot would point people towards the help and resources they need, and thus relieve pressure on the NHS helplines.

Extract a conversation flow from Voiceflow and deploy it onto SMS using our program SMS-it.

To summarise, we need to be able to take a conversation designed by a clinician on Voiceflow and give them the ability to automatically launch it on an SMS platform like Twilio.