Incepta’s take on a Technology-driven Epidemic Control & Alert System
We have all seen that manual contact tracing procedures are not fast enough for the new coronavirus, as the virus spreads at a far rapid pace that we can keep up with. Without having a contact tracing and notification mechanism that is instantaneous, we will be lagging behind and the spread will continue to engulf the entire country.
The solution to the problem lies in identifying cases of COVID-19 and quickly tracing everyone who came into contact with it before they infect others. That has helped countries such as South Korea, Taiwan, and Singapore beat back the epidemic, though sometimes through measures that trample privacy.
Here is Incepta’s take on a simple yet effective technology driven tracking and tracing mechanism to help control the spread of the virus. The solution is based on the core principle that a person’s positive coronavirus test result would trigger an instant notification, via a mobile app, to individuals who have been in close contact. The platform would recommend isolation for that individual and quarantine of their contacts. Further on a mass scale, it would help government agencies identify region-specific hotspots and take pre-emptive measures to limit the spread of the virus.
1. Data Collection & Digital Surveillance
Individuals would need to register for an app using their biometrics, including facial recognition. Whenever an individual leaves their home, the app will be able to geo-locate/trace his or her movements throughout the day. Visits to stores, or close contacts with other users (within a radius of 3 meters or less) and time spent with each contact will be recorded through the app.
2. Early Detection Alert and Contact Tracing using Big Data & Machine Learning
All the individual movement and behaviour data is fed into a central Big Data server and analysed using Machine Learning algorithms. Using this data the government can program a high level technology-based epidemic control and alert system.
This is how it works:
- Mr. X visits the hospital with COVID symptoms
- As Mr. X is registered into the hospital database, the information is immediately fed into the central server
- The central control system then pulls all the information of Mr.X from the last 14 days, including all the different places he has been and the different people he has come in contact with.
- All such people with whom Mr. X has come in close contact with is alerted to self-quarantine themselves for the next 14 days.
3. Individual Colour Coding & Hotspot Detection
Every citizen is assigned a colour-code (Red, Yellow or Green). If Mr. X had arrived to the city from a known high-risk location, he will be automatically assigned the colour code yellow. Depending on the colour-coding, an individual’s movement can be restricted to certain areas.
In other words, if Mr. X is yellow, some of the highways and roads will be strictly off-limits. All the individual colour codes are plotted on a map which allow authorities to identify potential high risk zones and take preventive action before it gets out of control. It also allows the city to function without having to restrict movement of the entire city population.
According to Oxford’s Luca Ferretti, an expert in pathogen dynamics and the first author of the Science paper with this instantaneous tracing only 60% of cases would have to be isolated and 60% of contacts traced — and possibly as few as 50% and 40%, respectively.
Even though these rates are relatively low, such measures could effectively control the epidemic and they can do so more quickly than today’s stay-at-home orders, business closures, and other social distancing steps alone, and prevent a COVID-19 resurgence after the current pandemic fades — without re-imposing economically crippling social-distancing policies.
People should have the right to participate or not, however, considering the gravity of the situation a nationwide call could be initiated from the government, border control agencies and hospitals. Desperate situations call for desperate measures.
Incepta is a Canadian Technology company specializing in developing new age digital solutions in integration, automation and intelligence. Visit our website: www.inceptasolutions.com or email us at [email protected]