PantherTrace is a contact-tracing progressive web app that helps students easily and privately monitor their personal risk factor and keep others safe.
According to Business Insider, Florida told the reporters that they had not made a decision about using Apple and Google's contact-tracing technology. This has led schools to develop their own initiatives such as the P3 app by FIU.
According to FIU News, Provost Kenneth Furton believes that the p3 questionnaire will show where the university stands with contact tracing. The questionnaire essentially asks if students have been in contact with anyone who has the virus.
There is a big blind spot with the p3 approach. According to the CDC, symptoms begin to show even 14 days after exposure. Students may be in contact with others who don’t show symptoms even though they are contagious. Sometimes the people who show symptoms later forget or don’t have contact info to privately notify everyone that they have been in contact with.
Not only that, but sometimes I can’t remember where I have been a couple of days prior whenever I go on campus or, let alone, everyone I’ve been in contact with.
Panther Trace addresses these existing problems in the FIU community. I believe this is a catalyst to flatten the curve in returning to campus and monitoring risks.
What it does
According to the CDC, "Contact tracing is used by health departments to prevent the spread of infectious disease. In general, contact tracing involves identifying people who have an infectious disease (cases) and people who they came in contact with (contacts) and working with them to interrupt disease spread.”
The app uses Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) and location from any QR code identifier to mark your history in time & place. If I go to a specific spot on campus often, I can just save the QR code to my camera roll and upload. I can even upload it from the computer. This is especially useful when I am late for class.
It counts how many possible contact points have tested COVID positive from your place-time history.
How I built it
I began by planning the front and backend. The frontend was bootstrapped and used material UI modules. I really liked working with firebase because it allowed the freedom to make the backend in the "front-end". It was deployed through firebase too. I made the graphics using Affinity designer.
Challenges I ran into
I thought about the backend and how it can be verified with firebase about a whole day. After a good lunch, I finally figured it out. For some reason, centering elements above each other took me too long to figure out and eventually 'hack'.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
I'm really proud of the QR-scanner. I thought that it wasn't gonna happen until I found some code for legacy web API's that actually works better in most use cases of my application. I love that this app allows for easy privacy and the ability to add to the home screen on all devices.
I am very very very proud of the home screen subtle animation.
What I learned
Never overlook legacy API's if that is the only option that "works".
What's next for PantherTrace
I hope that some universities may find it useful. Just like any of the current contact tracing systems, it is just inaccurate as the user. Our next step is to solve that problem by making a verifiable method for healthcare providers.