Development of an AI based “no-internet” appointment scheduler in collaboration with UNC Chapel Hill's Carolina Health Institute Program.

UNC Chapel Hill
Custom Software Development
Applied Artificial Intelligence
Web Development
Technology used
Python, Laravel
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Project Overview

Onguard has revolutionized appointment scheduling by introducing an SMS-based booking system. This innovation addresses a pressing issue in underdeveloped regions where internet connectivity remains limited, making scheduling appointments with essential service providers a challenge. Inspired by Javed Mostafa's work on "Minimum Dictionary Language (MDL)," the project aims to tackle this connectivity issue by utilizing the cellular network to facilitate digital calendar requests using cutting-edge AI technologies.

Ontik Technology, as project developer, is proud to have collaborated on this initiative with the Carolina Health Informatics Program (CHIP) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Project Scope

  • Developed a model which can parse an SMS instruction to booking actions (scheduling, rescheduling, cancellations, etc.).
  • Designed the entire appointment booking SaaS and its landing site, including technical architecture, user interface, and functionality.
  • Set up of an SMS server for receiving scheduling instructions as SMS from users.
  • Integration of Google Contacts and Google Calendar to enhance system capabilities.

Process Flow & Key Features

  • Users send an instructional SMS to the dedicated toll-free number. Example: "Set a meeting with James on Tuesday, 2 PM"
  • The SMS server, upon receiving the SMS, forwards this to an AI model hosted in the cloud.
  • The AI model parses the text and identifies the "Contact," the "Time" and the "Instruction."
  • These three are then forwarded to a function to generate an action, which then creates a schedule with the desired person, or cancels or reschedules if instructed otherwise.

Project Impact

Ontik Technology's creation of a seamless appointment scheduling system resulted in a perfect prototype, one borne out of a research project at UNC Chapel Hill's Carolina Health Informatics Program (CHIP). This prototype will serve as a platform for further product development that results in a technology which drives immediate impact to underdeveloped and developing countries across the world.


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