Covid-19 has been declared a pandemic by the WHO as it spreads to continents all across the globe. The globalized world has never seen such unprecedented circumstances which have led to lockdowns in the largest democracies of the world by suspension of human rights so that humans can be saved. No one is complaining because that is what works best in a scenario where there is no cure or vaccine available which has been visibly tested and for which statistics are available.
In such times, it is virtually impossible to track human beings who are asymptomatic at the moment but start showing symptoms over the upcoming days. In a lockdown, facing a population of 1.3 billion and more, with a paucity of medical staff and facilities, India virtually has to use information technology tools to ensure that it is able to contain the spread of the epidemic to minimize the loss of life and the impact on its economy.
Crowdsourcing data in such times from individuals through mobile based applications is a very useful tool to understand the spread, the intensity of the epidemic and use data to plan and strategize for days and weeks ahead. Data helps in decision making through providing access to essentials, access to medical services, awareness on intensity of the spread across locales and issuance of advisories and their implementation in accordance.
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TrackBee is a proprietary mobile application which has been developed by Frametrics Consulting for capturing data through survey forms which can be created. TrackBee has been conceptualized as a platform for gathering data from different sources either through one on one surveys, panel based surveys, qualitative interviews, data in the form of voice, video or photographs so that it can be used to ensure the highest quality of analysis to assist decision making and chart strategies going ahead.
For crowdsourcing data for Covid-19 awareness, the application can be downloaded by citizens across the country. They can share their travel history, their present medical status and if they have received any medical attention for Covid-19 in the past 3 weeks. Depending upon the response received, the user can be designated in RED, YELLOW and GREEN categories (RED corresponds to an area with high density of COVID19 patients, people who have the symptoms or people who have come in contact with a person who has been tested positive with COVID19. The YELLOW and the GREEN area shows the same data as the RED area but with a reduced density i.e in terms of people that are affected in that area). This data can then be projected as a heat map on the application in real time basis allowing everyone to see basis the colour on the map the present status in and around his area. The location of the respondent is captured through latitude and longitude of his mobile phone and the projections to the map are made accordingly.
Basis the response and the colour that has been assigned to the area where the respondent resides, the frequency of future responses from the respondents is set accordingly. A respondent residing in the RED area is requested for response every alternate day while that in yellow category is requested for response twice a week. The green category respondent could be asked to respond once a week. The responses can allow the admin at the backend to strategize the channelization of resources in a manner that would be useful for tackling the growth of patients in a particular area or region. It will also allow to plan in advance for the infrastructure that could be required to accommodate the likely number of those affected which could come in the next few days to the next few weeks.
In these unprecedented times, where nature has shut us indoors, its important that we are able to communicate because that is what this globalized world rests on. It is also important that the sanctity of communication is maintained through an application which is sponsored by the Government so that one can trust on it to make decisions. Till then STAY INDOORS!