Preventing and Tracking COVID-19 with Mobile Applications Development

Tracking and preventing Covid-19

28th Apr 2020
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Preventing Covid-19 by using Mobile Application


Ways in which mobile application can be used to track and prevent COVID-19

Introduction

As we will know, our world is facing huge challenges to fight with the novel coronavirus. All the countries’ governments are under extreme strain, which is also affecting the lives of people. Since coronavirus is spreading and it is a very deadly virus, we must have some tools to track the spread of novel coronavirus or COVID-19. There is a dire need for some location tracking applications and other such applications, and to fulfill this need, countries like China and North Korea have worked on smartphone applications, which lets users monitor people suffering from this disease. 

With the launch of this application, several other countries like the US got inspired, and they have started working on such location tracking applications. All such kinds of applications would be useful since they will let people log their movements and compare them with victims of coronavirus. If we talk about India, it has already begun with such kind of application development.

Some benefits of mobile tracking applications to prevent COVID-19.

If we look at the statistics, many people suffering from coronavirus have some travel history. Hence it is really important to track such people and have them tested. Despite several efforts by the government, many people do try to escape, and it is difficult to track them. 

Hence, to solve this problem, a mobile application is essential that can track the registered individuals with the help of a GPS tracker that will notify authorities based on location. With the help of this, authorities can track such uses and do the surveillance that will prevent the community from the spread. In India, Nagaland has implemented such a kind of application that helps to track.

A Spectrum of use cases of mobile tracking application.

If you want to know more about how mobile applications can help people to fight with viruses, you will learn about it in the following section.

  • So, with the help of location tracking applications, with the use of anonymized location pigs, authorities can track where a large number of people and phones are. This data is useful since it will help them to map the places where there are more people, hence it gives a broad view of social distancing.
  • Another use case of location tracking applications it could track all the movements of devices and the location of the device. All this data is anonymized for a broader view. One can draw various inferences in community behaviour, such as how many people are staying far from the houses, whether it is the same group or different.
  • With the help of such an application, an identifiable data is seen, which can be useful to do further analysis.
  • Another advantage of such an application is that it can be used to link phones with metadata, which could find the location, whom the user calls.

Various other advantages of using mobile tracking applications In India for COVID-19.

Any mobile tracking application will concentrate on three major factors.

  • It helps to spread awareness: it provides live statistics about the disease by WHO(World Health Organization).
  • With the help of Bluetooth, it backtracks all the data and alerts the people. It checks the radius using Bluetooth 
  • If any person comes under contact with any victim, then it would be informed to the nearest care centre for a test. Also, it will provide all the important information that could be used as guidance and support.

Various potential areas where we can use mobile applications to fight with the novel coronavirus.

As we all know, emerging technologies like AI and ML are already doing wonders. With the integration of such technology in the mobile application, it could be useful to fight with novel disease coronavirus. Generally, these applications will take input from the users such as race, gender, and age. It will also ask if the user had contact with any victim of coronavirus or visited more prone places. 

Along with this, it does ask about infections and symptoms. With the help of all such information, it will provide a report to you which will let you know about the risk for COVID-19.

How does a mobile tracking application work?

Most of these applications work on Bluetooth or proximity sensors and GPS. With the help of Bluetooth, it can track whether you are six feet away from the coronavirus victim. Another way it works is that with the help of GPS tracker and data, the government tracks all the traces where the patient has been such as gatherings and different countries.

 Once it is done, it sends the information for COVID-19 screening. And in case you have been to any such place or with more prone people or victims, you will receive a call from the government that you are under high risk and need to go for a test. With the help of this, it will give more time to take necessary steps that will help to prevent this disease from spreading.

In India, several applications are coming up with many innovative ideas and use several new technologies. If in case, anyone wants to see whether a quarantined person is following the rules or not, an application could be used, where a person needs to upload their pictures, and the authorities can keep track and find if the user is following rules or not. 

Are these applications trustable?

Well, many of the applications are backed by top-notch research institutions, which do ask very specific questions. Various app owners are looking for collaboration with top medical schools that would help them to conduct the research and publish. 

Several mobile applications are there that are used by HR or the Human Resource Department when they let them know how COVID-19 is affecting employees’ life. Lots of initiatives are taken by mobile application developers to secure data of users. 

Many times it happens that people hesitate to share information related to coronavirus symptoms due to which many times people don’t even share. Many times it happens, that the coronavirus pandemic leads to discrimination, harassment, and bullying in the workplace. But with the anonymous feature in the application, it lets users tell about the symptoms anonymously. 

Some applications launched by the Indian government for fighting with coronavirus.

One such application, corona kavach would help the government to match the travel history of the user, with the patients suffering from coronavirus. ICMR data in the backend back this application. ICMR(Indian Council of Medical Research). Like various other applications, this will use Bluetooth technology that will warn users not to go out of particular locations. Also, it will send notifications to users who are at high risk of being informed. 

All such applications make use of technologies like RFID, Bluetooth Beacons, Wifi, GPS tracking devices, and many more. Several applications are available, and you can easily download, whereas some applications are under development and will be released soon.

How can users register in applications?

If any user wants to register for these applications, well one needs to do one-time registration by providing all the essential details like age, phone number, name. Every record in the application would be encrypted and would recommend users to interact with each other by keeping two meters of distance. All the information is uploaded on the secure server.

What will user receive after registering for the application?

Once the user registers for the application, following things each user will receive.

  • Statistics about social distancing.
  • It will also alarm social distancing.
  • A statistic about people, with whom the user was in contact.
  • All the regular notifications and updates.
  • If there is any case that is suspected or confirmed, preventive measure advice would be released by the health care centres. 
  • All the guidelines related to self-quarantine would be given to users.

Conclusion

With so much advancement of technologies and mobile phones, we can fight with deadly diseases such as coronavirus and prevent it from spreading further. Although it takes the data from the users, and there are many chances that the data could be misused, if proper measures are taken, no one can misuse data. Some of the tips for preventing data from getting misused are all the data should be with only higher authorities, and they should not have permission to share data with anyone. If we take all the preventions and make proper use of these tracking mobile applications, well, we would be able to win and prevent this deadly disease from spreading.

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