We are at the core of a science and business community in Mexico that spans a number of leading institutions and companies. For over 10 years, the collective effort has helped create and fund science education programs for all ages across Mexico. When COVID-19 began to be taken seriously in Latinamerica, the number of opinions, news, and articles shared over WhatsApp triggered the initiative to aggregate the content for internal use. This led to turning it outward and publishing on a website. Because we were also working on an application to evaluate COVID-19 symptoms, we decided to Beta-launch it along with the website, and woke up to a surprise.
What it does
The website publishes content curated by leading scientists and science communicators across the following sections: news feed, blog posts, podcast, health advice pages, who to contact if you need help, and an FAQ on coronavirus.
The web-based app is a 12 question survey for a user's health symptoms. It uses a weighed sum to tell the user a) to what degree symptoms match those of coronavirus (using soft language and underlining that this does not replace a diagnostic) and b) whether they fall into 'at risk' population.
The goal is to use the website to build an audience that we can survey as the situation unravels in the next months, and to use app releases (which are "flashy and shareable") to direct people to the website.
How I built it
We did a weekend sprint to get the project underway, and are now onboarding people to help run the project's different channels. Leading scientists share news and articles for the site's feed and also write blog posts with an emphasis on first-principle science to guide decisions around health in light of COVID-19. Our verbally-gifted co-founder started a podcast where he will continue to interview thought-leaders to communicate science and sound actionables to non-technical Spanish-speaking audiences.
The site is build on webflow + AirTable (<3) and the app with Gatsby + React.
Challenges I ran into
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
We launched the app and set up Google Analytics... and then forgot about it to focus on content. Two days later, we remembered to check Analytics and found an unexpected surprise.
The app received over 30,000 (human & organic) visits, and the numbers continue to grow. This showed the value and opportunity to use the app (cool and shareable) to reach a broad audience that can then be directed to actionable content on how to stay safe.
What I learned
After the app blew up, the rate of messages coming in through the website's contact form started increasing. At first, the messages included congratulatory notes and general health advice. But what happened next put an eery tone to the project and underlined its importance. Two days ago, on March 25th, we began to see messages of people describing their symptoms in tune with those of COVID-19 and asking for what sounds like urgent medical advice.
As we wake up to a growing feed of audience emails, we learned that we can use this platform to not only communicate science, but also direct people to health resources to help them feel cared for and to get them safe.
What's next for Estornuda.me
- Onboard content creators and social media communicators
- Catalog local health resources to direct users accordingly
- Revamp the app to enable users to voluntarily share their data (location, demographic, symptoms)
- Create GIS mapping of the data to better understand the infection dynamics across geographies
- Partner with diagnostics companies to collaborate in creating a statistical model to evaluate symptoms - conversations are underway
Try It out
gatsby, react, webflow