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CovidPal is an app where people can get access to live tracking of covid cases in their locality, access to local medical assistance, symptom checker, online covid safety supplies and contact circle safety. 

Problem Statement

Covid has caused health issues, privacy issues and economical issues. People tend to hide the infection status fearing judgement and this exposes the uninfected people to unknown threats. Also, the increased tech usage has increased privacy intrusions to people. Adding to this, small businesses had gone backward economically.

Possible Solution

This app has live corona virus tracker, with details about availability of beds in nearby hospitals, symptom checker which is mandatorily taken every week, where if the user is infected, the account details like name, address and phone number are shared to the local medical assistance. The user is capable of adding contacts to this app, which is used to know the infection status of daily met people. There is also a built-in scanner which helps to know the infection status of newly met people. There is a general awareness feature where people get to know about the virus from articles. The recommended diets from the government and medical associations are put up. Finally, there is a shop feature, selling all covid safety products to the doorstep from small businesses. 

Competitor Analysis

Competitors like Novid, Crush COVID RI (for Rhode Island),  Care19 Diary (for Wyoming, South Dakota, and North Dakota), GuideSafe (for Alabama) and COVIDWISE (for Virginia) were analyzed about their features. 

CRUSH COVID RI has two features.

  • My Location Diary feature uses GPS location data that is already available from your phone to help you easily track the places you visited over the past 20 days.

  • My Symptom Diary feature lets you tell if you have any symptoms and only asks you to provide your zip code to take appropriate measures in that area.

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GuideSafe has two features.

  • A COVID-19 assessment tool that allows individuals nationwide to report COVID-19 health status, symptoms and exposure 

  • It facilitates anonymous self-reporting and automates alerts to individuals with previous proximity or close contact with a later positive COVID-19 person  

Care19 Diary has two features.

  • It is a digital diary that records places you visit. Many of the places you visit can be recorded automatically by Care19 using the phone's location services. 

  • Location data will only be shared with the North Dakota or South Dakota Department of Health if you consent upon testing positive for COVID-19. This is done by sharing a code number displayed on the “About” section of the app.

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COVIDWISE has two features.

  • COVID-19 exposure notification app to facilitate contact tracing in response to the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. Contact risk is used to determine if a user is notified of a potential exposure and is not shared with any user.

  • When people who have downloaded the app are near each other for a period of time determined by VDH to represent a risk (a period which is updated based on the latest research), their phones exchange anonymous keys, and each saves the anonymous key of the other phone.

Process

Around 20 users were interviewed casually about the information they find it difficult to acquire during this pandemic season. The common answer was symptom checking, which eventhough is present in the government's app, it drains charge due to the usage of bluetooth and also invades privacy due to continuous location access. 

This brought up the idea of excluding bluetooth and usage of location only while checking symptom and live status. 

The next common problem was lack of reach of corona safety products, which lessened financial stability and brings the need to step out of home. This brought the idea of a shop feature. General awareness feature was brought in with articles from WHO, IMA etc. and the prototype was tested with 10 users from different locations. The app was found to be an 80% success, with couple of iterations.

Features Present

Symptom Checker

A symptom checker is embedded, which can be used to test corona at home in an approximate way. This test is taken every week at a scheduled time and the data will be uploaded to the account cloud. When infection risk is found, the hospitals can be notified about the details of the account holder.

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Contact Alert

Contacts can be added just like in mobiles, where our close contacts or people whom we meet daily are connected through the app. This forms a family circle, where if anyone tests positive or found that there is an infection risk, all the other people in their circle gets alerted.

Emergency and General Awareness

Emergency helpline and medical assistance will be provided in case people want to connect with doctors for any inquiries in a single click. This app contains general awareness like IMA, WHO articles, diet, and medicines to follow, etc.

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Shop

Since COVID has impacted on people's life financially too, shop feature is added to help small scale businesses during this pandemic time. Their corona safety products are listed for users to buy online without going outside, and also helping people economically.

Scan Unknown Contacts

If the contact list exceeds 15 people or if the user meets someone just for an hour and there is no need of adding him as a contact, the user can scan their QR code to know their infection status. Try it out here.

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Next Step

Development of the app is the final step and it is under construction. First level of app is to be published and then with user feedbacks, next level of iterations will be carried out.