Going Back To Business
COVAL is a community of businesses and customers that keeps each other safe by keeping the regulations together
The Unmet Need
Due to the Covid 19 pandemic, people across the globe are staying at home in quarantine, causing economic loss and social disruption. Naturally, this reality is not endurable in the long term. In the near future governmental restriction will gradually decrease, while the amount of infected people will increase. Therefore, keeping track of potentially infected individuals who are obligated in quarantine is of great importance. Navigating between the need for proper economical and cultural life under democratic doctrines, while maintaining discipline, regulations and sense of security among the people is one of the greatest challenges our society will face. Therefore, there’s a great need for a technological solution that will allow citizens and business owners to go back to normal routine in a responsible and controlled manner. In our perspective, this technological solution should include two components:
- Regulation infrastructure ensuring the enforcement of quarantine warrants, mainly keeping infected and potentially infected out of crowded places.
- Efficient epidemiologic research tool. This tool should allow a very accurate identification of people who were in the same places (supermarkets, restaurants, bars, etc) and at the same time as the confirmed covid-19 carriers, and alarm them.
In order to face this great challenge, a collective responsibility and discipline among the people must be formed. Our vision is to move democratic countries from a governmental based enforcement system, to a social based enforcement system. We believe that this approach will prove as a stronger tool than the orthodox governmental methodologies both in effectiveness and endurance, while preserving the citizens’ privacy.
COVAL creates a controlled businesses’ entry mechanism. COVAL prevents covid-19 carriers / people who are obligated in quarantine from entering businesses using the platform. Furthermore, in the case that one of the users gets infected, COVAL updates immediately all the users who were in the same places at the same time with him in an anonymous manner. Businesses choosing to be part of the COVAL community gain an efficient and simple enforcement mechanism which assures them that all their customers are feeling good and are not obligated in quarentune warrant or are infected, while maintaining minimal friction. The only way to enter a business that is part of the COVAL community is by using the COVAL app. The process of verifying the people entering the business is done by a doorman that verifies each customer through the COVAL app by picture and ID number.
Customers choosing to be part of the COVAL community gain the ability to enter places that are protected by the platform. The user will be able to see all the businesses working with the platform on a map relative to his position. The user can choose a business by clicking it on the map or by directly searching it on the search bar, much like google maps. When selecting a desired business, the user will see all the measures the desired business is using in order to keep customers safe as possible, as seen in the illustration. When arriving at the destination the user will be able to issue an entrance request, in order to enter the business, which in time the host\guard will have to approve. In addition the user will be asked to sign a declaration of good health and integrity, each time when entering a property. The registration to COVAL is done by scanning driver license/ID like in other apps.
Everytime that the user opens the app, the app verifies that the user is not obligated in quarantine by connecting to a designated API of the local Ministry of Health. In case the user is obligated in quarantine by law at that moment, the app is locked and an explanation is shown on the screen.
A log containing the times and places that the user has entered in the last 14 days is saved locally on the device. In the case that the user gets infected, his log will be transferred anonymously to all the users of the platform, so that each user will compare locally between his log and the anonymous log of the new covid-19 carrier - the comparison result will not be transferred to anyone. Then all users who have crossed paths with the new carrier will get an alarm, and a recommendation to report to the MoH.
This way COVAL protects the businesses and the customers while preserving the customers’ privacy. COVAL is a creative, practical and long term endurable solution to get back to normal life and restore the economies of the world.
Customers: reduce significantly the chance of getting infected in public spaces, maintaining a basic lifestyle, receiving a reliable indication in the case they should enter quarantine.
Businesses: attracting customers by providing a “covid-19 free” environment, reduces the chance of having a covid-19 carrier in their business that could cause damage to their reputation and even a temporary shutdown in some cases.
- Large Scale - Assimilating the product among businesses and customers at deployment will be a great challenge. With the right marketing and cooperation we can incentivize businesses towards using the app.
- Ministry of Health API - our product is based on the existence of an API provided by the local MoH, that allows users to check their current status - obligated in quarantine / not obligated in quarantine.
Ori Gil-ad: Bsc in electrical engineering and physics from the Technion. Currently a graduate student in electrical engineering at TAU.
Shay Shimonov: Bsc in electrical engineering and physics. Currently completing a Msc in electrical engineering at the Technion.
Harel Mendelman: Currently undergraduate student in the electrical engineering faculty of the Technion. Ron Gatenio: Bsc software engineering from the Technion. Roy Schory: Bsc software engineering from the Technion.