IISc & IITs Developing COVID-19 Tracking Mobile Apps To Battle Against The Crisis

IISc & IITs Develop COVID-19 Tracking Mobile Apps To Battle Against The Crisis
Image © IISc & IITs Develop COVID-19 Tracking Mobile Apps To Battle Against The Crisis

Amid the imposed lockdown all over the country due to COVID-19 pandemic, students and faculty of Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore and Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) are working towards developing mobile applications, along with robots and ventilators in order to help the country fight against this crisis.

A team has developed the app “GoCoronaGo” at IISc, which can help in identifying people who may have crossed paths with COVID-19 suspects, and on the other hand, “Sampark-o-Meter” app has been developed by a B-tech student of IIT Ropar, which can indicate areas on maps with maximum coronavirus infection possibility.

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Tarun Rambha, a faculty member at IISc, told the media that, “GoCoronaGo app will help in identifying people who may have crossed paths with COVID-19 positive individuals or suspects by tracking their interactions in the past using Bluetooth and GPS.”

Further explain Rambha said, “The app uses temporal network analytics in the backend to understand the risk propensity even for distant contacts, understand disease spread and identify high-risk people who are likely to contract and spread the virus,” 

The app also provides alerts on isolation and proximity scores and helps in enhancing social distancing. It also has a geofencing feature for those who are under quarantine, and can provide their symptoms which are used in the risk evaluation, Rambha added.

On the other hand, Sahil Verma, the developer of Sampark-o-Meter told the media that, “The app generates a ‘risk score’ after considering various factors and can alert people to take precautionary measures including self-isolate or consulting a doctor. The app would help users in estimating the corona sampark risk rating.”

Further explaining Verma said, “The existing approaches put the onus of responsibility of contact tracing and alerting or isolating the potential suspects on the government only, and are subjected to delays because of which, in most cases, the suspect has further spread the virus to many before being caught. This app, if implemented successfully, can timely alert and more efficiently control the spread.”

Another team of students and alumni at IIT Bombay, have made a mobile app named “CORONTINE” which has been designed to track the potential or suspected asymptomatic carriers of coronavirus if they leave their quarantine zone.

One of the team members told the media, “CORONTINE app is meant to be installed on the mobile of asymptomatic carriers by an authorised agency. The app will send GPS coordinates of the mobiles periodically to a server under the supervision of the authorised agency. If a user, by chance, leaves a specified quarantined zone marked by a geo-fence, it will be auto-detected.”

The purpose of the CORONTINE app is to help authorities track the asymptomatic carriers and prevent the spread of the disease.

In a similar effort, students of IIT Delhi are also working towards fighting the pandemic battle by creating a mobile app to trace individuals who come in close contact with COVID-19 positive cases.

According to Arshad Nassar, a PhD student at the institute’s design department, the application has been designed to use Bluetooth to track and alert all individuals who have been nearby of positive coronavirus cases in the past days. The app apparently shows the date and the region of interaction within the Bluetooth radius.

Additionally, the mobile app also provides guidelines for self-quarantine and supportive care guidelines.

IIT Roorkee Professor Kamal Jain has also developed a tracking app to tighten the surveillance system needed to contain coronavirus. He said, “The app can track individuals and also can do geofencing around him or her, accordingly will send an alert to the system, if the quarantined person violates geofencing.”

These initiatives from IITs and IISC, Bangalore will help the agencies to fight against this global pandemic.

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Sejuti Das
Sejuti currently works as Associate Editor at Analytics India Magazine (AIM). Reach out at sejuti.das@analyticsindiamag.com

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