Problem and Inspiration

Alt text According to the Harvard scientists[1], the world may need to live with the virus until 2022. During the pandemic, some governments choose to strictly monitor citizens' symptoms, daily activity, and travel history in order to slow down the spread. However, such measures raise serious privacy and surveillance concerns.

The post-pandemic period is going to be a period of at least 12 or even 18 months long. Therefore, all tools and services have to put privacy and users' right first. The pandemic is slowing down at the moment, some countries such as Germany are preparing to re-opened or are thinking to reopen. This allow us to think early: "how can we build a tool to strike the balance of protecting people from virus infection but at the same time reduce the damage to our democracy".

We believe the key is the connection of different stakeholders in the post-pandemic life with a service that respects users' privacy. Only if we fight altogether, it is possible to maintain normal life under the continuous thread of the virus. For countries and cities thinking about reopening, there are three key things need to be considered:

 1. Citizens need to self-report and record daily symptoms to make sure we and our loved ones are healthy and safe.
 2. Governments and research institutes need crowd data to analyze changing symptoms and to monitor high-risk areas.
 3. Shops and restaurants are financially suffering from low volume customers

That's why we have been developing MyLog14.

[1]These Harvard scientists think we'll have to socially distance until 2022


The Solution

Alt text What can MyLog14 do?
MyLog14 empowers individuals with their health data to improve public health and support the local economy. This App is built in the MyData community and was highlighted by MyData Global[2][3]. The privacy policy follows MyData Principles[4].

[2] https://mydata.org/2020/03/26/mydata-vs-covid-19/
[3] https://weekly-digest.ownyourdata.eu/en/weekly/2020-04-03
[4] https://mydata.org/declaration/

It provides the following solutions:
 1. An accessible and affordable way to record self symptoms, all data is saved locally and controlled by users to protect privacy.
 2. Users can contribute by sharing data to exchange for coupons. Contributed data can be used by research institutes for analytical purposes. Shared data is anonymized, name or information which can identify individuals will be excluded.
 3. Shops and restaurants can advertise their products by providing coupons.

MyLog14 provides a mobile app for users to efficiently log and manage COVID-19 related symptoms without sacrificing privacy. The features of MyLog14 includes:
 √ Symptoms logging/Snap-Capture
 √ Keep raw data (location/timestamp/device information) with every log/capture
 √ Reminders
 √ Local data storage
 √ Export of users’ own personal data
 √ The incentive for motivating participation

Alt text How does MyLog14 differ from other tracking apps?
Tracking apps do not commonly collect your symptoms, but you can manage them through MyLog14.
Tracking apps are good, but in a post-lockdown society with a low number of infected cases, the advantage of tracking is limited. What matters more is the health status of each of us.
With MyLog14, people can easily log and track their symptoms and health status without compromising privacy. The recorded data can be used for
 ★ Self-management to protect you and the loved ones are healthy and safe.
 ★ Helping doctors to diagnose better by sharing the recorded data temporarily with the medical staff you trust.
 ★ Contributing to research institutes by sharing anonymous data for analytical purposes.
 ★ Collecting bubble-tea points to exchange for coupons and help small businesses.

The goal for MyLog14 is to empower individuals with their health data to improve public health and support the local economy. At the same time, it helps strike a better balance between civil rights, data privacy, and epidemic prevention.


What we have done during the weekend

Alt text Alt text  ☆ Host kickoff and 3 project sync-up meetings.
 ☆ Acquire 2 new members joining the project development, one with expertise in business consultancy and one with expertise in AI and Computer Vision research.
 ☆ Enhance features of the current MVP.
 ☆ Finalize the technical design of the coupon-sharing mechanism.
 ☆ Discuss with 10+ mentors for the long-term working models and identify the stakeholders.
 ☆ Add Japanese and French support to the App.
 ☆ Collect 50+ survey results for MyLog14 in the hackathon. For the question "Will you use MyLog14?", only less than 4% responded no.
 ☆ Update English terms and conditions to ensure GDPR compliancy.
 ☆ Survey the current privacy concerns and user reactions of tracking apps.
 ☆ Collect 10+ feature requests for the next phase of development.
 ☆ And, an online Yoga with the team together!


The solution’s impact to the crisis

Helping individuals to record daily activities and own their data
We’ll soon get into the post-pandemic period. Before the vaccine has been invented, everyone has a risk to expose under the virus threat. Neither lockdown or using government authority to track people is the permanent way to prevent the breakout. The app can help healthy people to record their daily health status and activities. If they get infected or under high risk of infection, the data they logged will be useful to organizations that need to analyze their location history.


The necessities in order to continue the project

86% of users believe services provided by MyLog14 can contribute to epidemic prevention!

Alt text During the last month, we have
 ★ From idea to a usable MVP, it only takes less than one month.
 ★ The size of the community grows 600% since we kickoff MyLog14 project.
 ★ With the diverse community, we are able to collect opinions and feedback from people living in 3 continents around the world.
 ★ All doctors we interviewed love the idea and are looking forward to introducing it to their patients. Swiss doctors we interviewed expressed great interest in the concept.

The next milestones will be
 ◎  MyLog14 finished the app's incentive feature in #EUvsVirus hackathon
 ◎  2020/4 Introduce MyLog14 to the chief commander of epidemic prevention of Taipei city
 ◎  2020/5 Release Android beta version to Google Play
 ◎  2020/5 Release iOS beta version in TestFlight for the broader community test
 ◎  2020/6 Implement a data-sharing mechanism to allow users to contribute the data to research institutes. The funding from research institutes will go to small businesses that are willing to provide coupons.
 ◎  MyLog14 will be a non-profit community app. It will be completely open-source for the community to operate and maintain in the future. After the Covid19 epidemic, we highly encourage the community to build more applications on MyLog14's framework.

The value of your solution(s) after the crisis

Alt text Helping small businesses affected by the crisis
We also build a positive enhancement mechanism in the app to motivate the users to log their data. After using the App for 14 days to record data, users can get a cup of virtual bubble tea as an incentive. MyLog14 collaborates with small businesses that are affected by COVID-19 to provide coupons. Users can exchange the virtual bubble tea into a cup of real bubble tea or coupons. It not only helps individuals to log and keep their log without sacrificing their privacy but also can help to restore the economy destroyed by COVID19.

Crowdsourcing data donation
Users can donate data anonymously with the lower location accuracy, upload to academic or research institutes, which can be used for epidemic analysis and symptom research.
Since MyLog14 leverages the power of civic engagement and respects users' privacy, there is no tracking or surveillance. We believe it can help restore the wounded democracy during the pandemic and protect it afterwards.

How We built it

The App and services are built by the MyData community, the local hub of MyData Global based in Helsinki. We have great diversity in expertise, members including NTU professors who have strong connections with medical professions, and software startups who have very good technologies in AI and blockchain. There are also great user experience researchers in the team to help test how MyLog14 can help users. The team is international, some of us are from Japan, Hong Kong, Belgium and other countries, and some of us are from Taiwan. The high diversity allows us to use local data storage, encryption, and ledger technology to build the app and make it compliant with local culture.

During the past month, we have released one prototype and five alpha versions on github. With a strong emphasis on data protection, MyLog14 is able to attract professionals with a variety of backgrounds, including technological and methodological innovation as well as privacy and security.

As for #EUvsVirus hackathon, we completed the incentive feature of MyLog14, and the Beta release is on the way. We are going to turn the idea into a useful service company our life in the post-pandemic period!


Challenges We ran into

Many people from MyData, civic tech community g0v, #CodeVsCovid19 and #EUvsVirus hackathon work together to make this project happen. We have different expertise but share the same passion. The biggest challenge for us is to build cross-disciplinary communication, for example, it is not always easy to communicate the technology behind the application to non-technical team members, including legal experts and UI/UX designers. Nevertheless, since we share the same passion and the willingness to learn from each other, we have adjusted our communication strategies to successfully overcome the challenges and create the prototype together as a family.


What we learned

Empowering the global community with highly experienced professionals with our culture and our principles can assist the wider community and make a better impact on the benefits of this App.

While exchanging ideas with European participants at the #CodeVsCovid19 and #EUvsVirus, we realized that some citizens tend to put data privacy before pandemic control, while other citizens tend to be the opposite - thinking it is okay to slightly compromise privacy to help the country to contain the pandemic.

We believe that MyLog14 will help to solve this dilemma as a great tool to strike a balance between pandemic control and privacy protection.

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