This Gurugram startup has a free solution for the government to stop community spread of coronavirus
As the first cases of the novel coronavirus started to emerge from Wuhan, China, followed by the WHO declaring the COVID-19 disease as a pandemic, the human race has joined hands in multiple ways to fight it.
Closer home, in India, the emergency is being combatted and contained by a countrywide lockdown, which on Tuesday has been extended to May 3 from April 15.
“However, some citizens are ignoring the lockdown, and if the disease spreads, we will not have any way of tracing the infected people. Other citizens who are in genuine need are unable to go out. Some people are panicking as they do not know whether they have coronavirus or the simple flu. They do not know how or when to get tested,” says Saurav Bhaik, Co-founder and CEO, a Gurugram-based startup that provides end-to-end experiential technology solutions to turn spaces into a digital and interactive one.
Tagbin Co-founder and CEO Saurav Bhaik
Saurav, along with his team decided to leverage Tagbin’s resources and expertise to develop an app called CoCare to help in this dire situation. Tagbin’s CoCare is an integrated, mobile-first IT solution where the government, as well as citizens, can fight COVID-19 together. Saurav adds that the state governments can implement the startup’s solution free of cost.
Fighting community spread
Tagbin’s CoCare app uses Bluetooth and GPS tracking to help trace citizens who came in contact with COVID-19 patients.
Further explaining how the app works, Saurav says, “A custom-made track and trace algorithm is used to mark the position and proximity of citizens in cases of community spread. This data will be encrypted and tagged with GPS and user identity, so that the number of contacts, as well as infection-prone areas, can be predicted.”
The CoCare app also helps citizens to self-diagnose themselves, in case they need to get tested. The algorithmic Q/A tool predicts whether the user needs a COVID-19 test or not. It also suggests what other measures, if any, need to be taken.
“The self-diagnostic tool will collect data that will help the government to ascertain who is at high risk, and needs to be contacted for COVID-19 test. This will allow the government to stop the carriers of the virus at an early stage and prevent any further spread,” adds Saurav.
Furthermore, the CoCare app is also developed to help the government to issue lockdown passes to citizens in need, and issue a time-bound e-pass periodically to every user to buy essential items.
A user can apply for passes on the app, which can be digitally validated and stamped. Users will be able to present these e-passes to the authorities in their areas. Overall, the platform is also designed to help the government get the macro and micro picture of the entire situation, and work as a single platform to share all the latest information about COVID-19.
Saurav says that the deadly virus can easily spread, forming multiple clusters. “Affected carriers with fewer symptoms of the disease unknowingly help the virus to multiple. So, the key to defeating such a hideous enemy is to fight together. CoCare is visioned for fighting COVID-19 together,” he adds.
“All the data that is collected through this application will be encrypted to safeguard the privacy of users in order to conform to national data security policies,” Saurav highlights.
Earlier in April, the Indian government launched Aarogya Setu, a location-based coronavirus tracking app that has a similar offering as the CoCare app. Explaining how Tagbin’s CoCare app is different from the Aarogya Setu app, Saurav says that the app doesn’t upload any data to the server and that the contact data is stored in the mobile app database.
In the CoCare app, the user has to sync the app with the server only when he/she gets tested positive for the government to track the people who came in contact with him/her, whereas Aarogya Setu is synced with the server all the time, hence it is tracking all the time, Saurav says. Further, CoCare uses Bluetooth, GPS tracking, Wi-Fi, or ultrasonic waves from a speaker to detect nearby devices, whereas Aarogya Setu only uses Bluetooth and GPS tracking.
The application is available on both Android and iOS platforms. At present, Tagbin is approaching state governments as they can implement this solution free of cost. Himachal Pradesh government had given a green signal a few moments back, and is now in process to implement the solution.
A startup for smart cities
Gurugram-based startup Tagbin was started by Saurav Bhaik and Ankit Sinha in 2013, with an aim to stimulate people's senses and ignite their imagination to create unforgettable experiences.
As a Software Engineering student at IIT-Roorkee, innovation and technology always intrigued the then 23-year-old Saurav. As an organising member of Robocon 2012, an international-level robotics competition, Saurav had planned an ad campaign for Cadbury Oreo. He and his team distributed hundreds of RFID tags to the visitors; every time they posted a picture or a post from the event on social media, a Cadbury’s hashtag would pop-up in the tags automatically.
Saurav says that the campaign was a major success and resulted in the virality of the event and the brand. At that time, he did not know that this was called experiential marketing, but it left him hungry for more. He was fascinated with the idea of how technology could be blended in a way to create magic, or the “wow” factor, in the marketing segment.
At the same event, Saurav met Ankit Sinha (now Co-founder and CTO of Tagbin), an IITM New Delhi graduate with work experience in technology. The duo hit it off and started working on multiple projects, ultimately launching Tagbin Service Private Limited officially in June 2013.
Since its inception, Tagbin has grown from a small office for event technologies with a couple of people in a basement in Saket, New Delhi, to an office with 83 people across Gurugram, Mumbai, Dubai, and Singapore completing multi-million-dollar projects for the Indian government, corporates, as well as catering to international markets like Tokyo, and others.
Tagbin is tapping governments, institutions, museums, Smart City Special Purpose Vehicles (SPV), and corporates as its target clients. Saurav reveals that the Dholera Industrial City Development Limited (DICDL), Ahmedabad, wanted a permanent zone to showcase the idea of Dholera Smart City in an immersive and interactive way, and that’s where Tagbin came in. The startup planned, executed, and is now handling the smart city experience centre in Dholera.
At present, the startup boasts of more than 100 clients, including Ministry of Culture, ASI, National Library of Kolkata, Metcalfe Hall, National Film Archives of India, GAIL, National Archives of India, Coca Cola, Vodafone, BPCL, ONGC, Levis, India Today, Mercedes Benz, Audi, Myntra, UCB, Adidas,, Hero, Huawei, Kohler, Kingfisher, Dubizzle, HDFC Life, Ray-Ban, among many others.