Contact Tracing (a.k.a. myOutbreak.health)

Website / Documentation
Short description

WW personalized contact tracing app (auto data expire) that users can trust with "opt in" to protect their community.

Description

If you’ve got coronavirus, shout it from the rooftops. Pandemics aren’t secret. But too many of us are treating the novel coronavirus as if it’s a private affair, and lack of sharing will get people killed. The novel coronavirus is a freely available pathogen spreading like wildfire and we cannot run and hide from it if we don’t know where it is.

On the flip side, countless people want to do more but do not know how they can help. Those that are showing signs and those that know of people who have been or are infected can help the community by communicating relevant information.

If you happened to be infected, then there is a long and tedious process of contact tracing that works fine when the number of infected is small and you are trying to contain the spread as fast as possible. But this manual process of contact tracing becomes ineffective very quickly as the number of confirmed cases increases.

Also, confusion reigns due to federal laws regulating health information (such as HIPPA the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act and PHI the Protected Health Information Act as any information that could identify an individual), all poorly designed for our current predicament.

Do a quick test: Think of everywhere you have been and everyone you’ve come in contact with or have been in close proximity to over the past two weeks. How accurate is your recollection? Think you may have left someone or somewhere out? Most likely, since our brains are not good at trying to keep track of things after the events have happened. You must keep a record of the information as it is happening.

The current practices will never get ahead of the curve as it is a reactive measure once the virus outbreak exceeds the number of personnel who can do contact tracing. A proactive measure that uses the power of the people and a sense of community and national pride shown in the times of extreme need is required.

One of the biggest issues is the availability of micro information as it relates to each member of the community. News information, however, is always at a macro level. People will act differently when they know their area, street, personal contacts, or points that they visit have confirmed cases of the virus. We need to move from word of mouth to something that gets ahead of the curve.

What is desperately needed is a system that allows the populous to keep track of critical information privately and securely. The information can then be anonymized and shared (at the user’s discretion and with their explicit approval) when a patient shows symptoms, signs of infection, or when they are confirmed to be infected. The release of information is fully in the hands of the individual and they decide which information to share and what remains private. All connections will have the same adherence to personal data connection and this information would not be shared without approval (anonymization will also be the first rule of sharing).

There are different levels of information that can be captured;
1. My direct interactions, which can cover what I did, the places I have visited, and times that I was there – where did I work, go to the gym, go grocery shopping, etc.
2. My micro-network, which extends to the family – connecting individual people. For example, a parent might track where their kids, went to school, playdates, sporting they attended, and with whom.
3. Composite networks based on connecting micro-networks into ever-larger networks of information that allow contacts and contact density to be analyzed at all levels of granularity (e.g. city, county, neighborhood, street). Some possible use-cases are;

These composite networks can provide much-needed information in the spread of the virus in small areas and the potential implications on local police, ambulance, and hospital facilities.

The composition of information across these networks can allow the cross-correlation of information to find super-carriers or hot-spots of infection by connecting users to broader society outbreaks, such as, travel outside of the direct community to larger cities or even travel outside of the country.

They can also be used to identify dead zones, where there is no information to help better targeting of campaigns to do testing or encourage people to sign-up and use the application for easier tracking.

Users can find hot-spots and information relating to their possible infection by looking at specific and pin-pointed information related to their activities.

For example, a household of 4, 2 adults, 1 adolescence, and 1 child could have three individual “my direct interactions”, which are combined through parental permission into a single “family micro-network”. The family also has a group of friends which they have interacted with. They send the application link to these people asking for them to sign-up and create their “family micro-network”. They all agree to share their data in the event of someone showing symptoms or someone is confirmed to have the virus. This process is continued creating an ever-expanding “micro-network” (just like the viral spread itself) until it has critical density to help healthcare workers and the community as a whole.

In addition, to being a place to capture, track and share information of infection, there also needs to be a consolidated place where healthcare professional can perform the following activities;
• Medical professionals can send out or publish questionnaires, or surveys to the user community to solicit information that would help them better understand and track the spread of infection, to better determine the density of people showing symptoms. Registered groups could be targeted based on demographics, locations, etc. in an anonymous perspective, and responses can be anonymized to protect individual’s data rights, as each individual can choose the level of information to share. Registered users choose the information to share when showing symptoms or when positively or negatively confirmed via actual test. The results are using the power of the community in a safe and transparent way.
• Police, ambulance, and any other supporting services can also use the application to track their owns paths and connections with areas, people, or events. They can also get a view of the situation before entering into an area for better preparation.
• Act as an aggregation point for all publicly released information from the government, medical services, etc. For example, provides accurate and reliable links to the key websites and latest information and best practices.
• Asking people within areas most infected to comply with self-zoning and isolation to contain the spread of infection and thereby reducing the load of essential services.
• Provide a discussion forum for answering and consolidating questions, concerns and accurate and reliable responses curated by knowledgeable people, instead of the vulnerability faced today on getting information from non-curated discussion forums where unfortunately misinformation can be the norm. This can be manned by CDC, WHO with the support of community-minded people who are wanting to help.

Software Solution

Of utmost importance is the security of individuals’ data and ensuring more and forthcoming data. The key to the solution is ensuring public trust and that the application is not perceived as “big brother” but one designed based on user choice and control of what data is captured and shared. The key differentiator of the solution must be the invocation of community support by providing them a secure way to track their personal information and giving all privacy options to the user. By embedding true privacy options, we will ensure more accurate and controlled participation from the community thereby leading to improved information and reporting for everybody.

XXX will partner with the not-for-profit Inversion Foundation (https://inversion.foundation) who has developed an advanced data and service platform to build this application. Their data platform (name INVERTit) provides a secure container for each user’s data that is encrypted with a private key that only the user knows. There is no sharing of information unless the user agrees and then the user decides what data to share and how it is shared (e.g. raw form or obfuscated, anonymized, etc.).

The platform allows all data to remain on their device, phone/tablet, or PC until they need and wish to share. At which point explicit consent will be provided so that it remains 100% transparent. The user would be encouraged to share as much anonymized data that they can if they show signs or are confirmed to have the contagion.

The application will be developed with open source in mind to allow communities to help to drive its future development when up and running. The application with offer an Apple and Android app and a website to control and manage user data and collate the information.

The key features of the application are;
• Register users, Name, Age, Addresses (Home, Work, and other places of social contact)
• The key information that we would request to be shared would be their age and address information (but for home address this could be limited to the Street or Town).
• Track personal social contact with a rolling window of time. A rolling window is suggested as not to keep information outside of a defined contagion period. Suggested 21 days based on the current virus 14-day isolation cycle.
• Micro-network or family, friends adding to social network graphs through the publishing of SMS and email links to sign-up to the application from people who have already joined and are tracking their activity. The SMS and email responses allow connection of the micro-networks without the need for names and other connecting information to be shared. Address information matches can also allow networks to be connected anonymously. For example, people registering with the same work address, attending the same church, gym, etc. and then choosing to share this information at the appropriate time would allow faster contact spreading and the magnitude of contact spreading to be determined.
• Dashboards and aggregated statistics of registered users, users that are showing signs of infection, and those that have been tested and confirmed negatively or positively.
• Geological maps and statistics can be added from other public sources and combined to show a better picture of what is happening based on time. Time-based graphics and statistics will also provide a pro-active trend analysis of hotspots for all users of the application.
• Touchpoints can be shown in many formats such as density, connection points geographically, and touchpoint between users (anonymized) like a social network of both superimposed on a geographical map.
• Views of people with symptoms confirmed cases or both can be created with drill downs to the level of data shared.
• A personal network, micro-network can also be seen for shared or unshared data.
• Key points such as case density, places of testing, etc. can also be presented and new features can be added based on identified needs always protected people’s data rights and personal security.

If need be some incentives can be created for people showing signs of confirmed to upload their personal or micro-network for the benefit of the community, they live in and society as a while

The application concept can also be used to track international travel and used worldwide showing the innovation and thought leadership of Sweden on the world stage.

Again, while there may be other tracking applications the key is that they aren’t getting ahead of the curve soliciting community response – we are currently primarily reacting to positive cases using manual processes.

The potential for this application to be a pandemic game-changer is very unique. The power of the people all looking to do social good in times of crisis can be harnessed to get ahead of the curve and control the outbreak by providing real information. To the community and it’s community leaders, the cities, countries, and world. We cannot become a big brother state where people’s rights are not protected. We need a solution that engages the community spirit and not one that alienates them through a heavy government hand. People who voluntarily share information will share more accurate information than those that are forced. Our solution achieves the identified need being experienced all around the world with the soft hand of human spirit working together.

Target country

United States

Project type

  • Community
  • Healthcare
  • Information
  • Prevention

Support needed

  • Bootstrapping
  • Exposure
  • Product development
  • Raising capital
  • Software development

What we need help with

Funds for development resources (6 months) • 1 Mobile (iOS and Android) Developer = est. USD30K • 1 Web-develop = est. USD30K • 1 Service Developer = est. USD50K • 1 Lead Developer (for platform) = est. USD50K • 1 Project Lead = est. USD40K • MVP est. USD200K Subsequent funding required to support roll-out, hosting, and subsequent changes.

Best way to get in touch

steven.schilders@inversion.foundation (+1-812-390-8339)

Project status

  • Just started