It’s easy to find the epicenter of a pandemic, but it’s not as easy to stop it. Though the epicenter of the COVID-19 disease was quickly identified, it spread like a wildfire as people were traveling from one place to another, often accompanied by no certain knowledge of the risks of contact. With CorUS, we aim to finally put that ‘wildfire’ out, and assist in flattening out the pandemic curve.
Tracing and knowing whether you came in contact with a COVID-19 positive person has been a big issue, and often comes down to pure speculation. For example, with celebrities, the newspapers sometimes try to emulate a flowchart of contact points, such as in one of the attached pictures. In most cases, like in one of my friend’s, you typically use social media or make phone calls. It took her 7 days after the test to get to know that someone she met was in contact with a positive person. This ‘guesstimating’ process takes a lot of time and in the meantime, the virus passes on to other people. We want to simplify the life of the families and health officers making these distress calls.
Though most of the people are staying in, the essential workers, like my dad, are still going out and interacting with people. They need to be safeguarded first, so this app gives them a tool to know whether they interacted with a COVID-19 positive person, and what precautions to take.
What it does
Once the user registers on the application and enables the Bluetooth, the app scans for nearby Bluetooth devices and keeps a log of their Bluetooth mac in the user's mobile device. The app keeps a log of the last 21 days. In the meantime, if a user goes for a COVID-19 test and the results are positive. They have an option to mark themselves as positive on the app. Once, the user marks itself positive, the regulatory body using the application will verify whether that person is providing the correct information. After the information is verified, push notifications are sent to all the mac's who were in his close proximity of the user (i.e. within 2 meters). The simple and minimalistic interface also ensures ease of access and usage for all age brackets of users.
We take advantage of the fact that all the COVID-19 tests are recorded in the world and the verification is easier. Verification is a must as the spread of misinformation is as harmful as the diseases.
Once we have enough users who have marked themselves positive, we will highlight the positive zones on the map so that people can take precautions accordingly.
Challenges We ran into
One of the major issues that come with the creation of a tracking application is the concern of privacy and data usage. It is our goal to ensure the privacy of the data, and we shouldn’t be a ‘Big Brother’ which tracks everything.
It is of foremost importance that the users are assured that the app isn't spying on them. It is for this reason that CorUS has no GPS tracking.
Although the application needs a lot of data processing and correlation, it is mostly serverless.
Another challenge we’re running to is reaching out to the governmental entities to adopt the application, but our team will surely persevere and make sure that it gets done.
Accomplishments that We are proud of
We started it as a side project group of friends. Later, when we registered for this hackathon, we were seamlessly able to add people to the team and get the work done.
The feat is more incredible since we were able to work async, sync up whenever necessary, and collaborate efficiently despite working from three vastly different time zones.
Most importantly, we’re very proud to have come up with an application that could increase efficiency, decrease time concerns, and possibly save lives when it comes to a pandemic as crucial as this one.
What's next for CorUS
CorUS has many future goals, as we believe that this application has several implications not only within social distancing but also in legislation and medicine. Here is a quick preview of what’s to come:
Find a regulatory body/governmental body to adopt our app.
Add a login for the regulatory/health department to get the positive cases as per their region.
Nudge CDC approved information of symptoms to the users who were in contact with COVID-19 positive people.
Add information about the nearby doctors, so when we send a notification to the person who was in contact with a COVID19 positive person. They can know where to go to seek help.