To stem the spread of the coronavirus and get back to normal life, it is essential to be aware of the Covid-19 infection paths. At the moment, at least in Germany, this is done by asking corona patients for the people, they have met in the last couple of days. This is very time-consuming, stressful and inaccurate, as people might forget who they have met or do not even know their names. But there must be a better way for that:
CoTrack uses modern technology and the availability of smartphones in our daily lives to trace infection paths and thus stem the spread of the coronavirus. CoTrack uses BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) signals to track close contacts that are also using the app on their smartphone. As soon as two smartphones are close enough, CoTrack exchanges anonymized IDs that are stored in the app. By that, CoTrack can easily and anonymously keep record of encounters and potential risk contacts. If a user gets infected by the coronavirus, a doctor can report the infection with the corresponding "CoTrack - Health Center" application. After an infection is reported, all users that had contact with the infected user get notified in the app automatically. This way CoTrack users are informed early and can take precautions to protect themselves and their families.
What it does
With CoTrack you can easily and anonymously record encounters with other app users. For active tracking, you only need to switch on your Bluetooth and activate the tracking button in the CoTrack app. If a contact person gets infected, you will be notified automatically and anonymously in the app. This way you are informed early and can take precautions. If you have fallen ill with Corona yourself, you can voluntarily and anonymously report your infection status, which will inform your contact persons. The usage of CoTrack is voluntary and anonymous. We do not require any personal data. Every CoTrack-user receives a randomly generated user ID, which is used in the app for authorization. CoTrack can be used offline, however, whether you had contact with a risk contact can only be determined if the internet is connected.
- - Anonymous, Offline, Secure -
How I built it
- CoTrack is a native Android application with a Firebase backend. By using the Firebase backend, the application is able to scale seamlessly and can be easily established in many different countries.
CoTrack uses BLE technology to track close contacts (broadcasts randomly generated ID over BLE and scans for incoming IDs). To report an infection, a QR-code has to be scanned by a doctor (to prevent fake infections). After the QR-code is scanned, CoTrack uploads the encounters of the infected person and informs them about the risk contact.
Important: Other app users never know who exactly is infected. They just know that they had contact with a person that is now infected with Covid-19!!! Encounters are stored locally in the app and are only uploaded to the server, if the user wants to report an infection!!!
The CoTrack-system consists out of two applications:
CoTrack: Application for the normal user (Tracking, Infection Notification, Request Infection Report, etc.), anonymous usage.
CoTrack - Health Center: Application for health centers to report the infections by scanning QR-codes of infected patients. Login only for authorized health centers / Covid-19 test sites.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
- Making contact-tracing easier for everyone and by that contribute to stem the spread of the coronavirus and get back to our normal lives.
- The CoTrack-system is ready-to-use and can be used all around the world.
What's next for CoTrack - Tracing App
- Get in contact with health officials in different countries to establish CoTrack as an international standard application for contact-tracing in the corona crisis.