COVID-19 symptom tracker ensures privacy during isolation



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An on-line COVID-19 symptom monitoring device developed by researchers at Georgetown University Medical Center ensures an individual’s confidentiality whereas with the ability to actively monitor their signs. The device isn’t proprietary and can be utilized by entities that aren’t in a position to develop their very own monitoring programs.

Identifying and monitoring folks contaminated with COVID-19, or uncovered to folks with an infection, is vital to stopping widespread transmission of the illness. Details of the COVID19 Symptom Tracker and a pilot examine have been revealed August 13, 2020, within the Journal of Medical Information Research (JMIR).

“One of the major impediments to tracking people with, or at risk of, COVID-19 has been an assurance of privacy and confidentiality,” says infectious illness knowledgeable Seble G. Kassaye, MD, MS, lead creator and affiliate professor of drugs at Georgetown University Medical Center. “Our online system provides a method for efficient, active monitoring of large numbers of individuals under quarantine or home isolation, while maintaining privacy.”

The Georgetown web device assigns a singular identifier as folks enter their signs and different related demographic knowledge. One perform within the system permits establishments to generate reviews about objects on which individuals can act, similar to signs which may require medical consideration. Additionally, folks utilizing the system are supplied with info and hyperlinks to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention COVID-19 suggestions and directions for a way folks with signs ought to search care.

Development of the system was speedy—it took 5 days to design. The joint mission included Georgetown University’s J.C. Smart, Ph.D., chief scientist of AvesTerra, a information administration surroundings that helps and synthesis to establish actionable occasions and preserve privacy, and Georgetown’s vice chairman for analysis and chief know-how officer, Spiros Dimolitsas, Ph.D.

“We knew that time was of the essence and the challenges of traditional contact tracing became very clear to us based on one of our first patients who had over 500 exposures,” says Kassaye. “This was what motivated us to work on this, essentially day and night.”

The device launched on March 20, adopted by preliminary testing of the system with the voluntary participation of 48 Georgetown University School of Medicine college students or their social contacts. Participants have been requested to enter knowledge twice day by day for 3 days between March 31 and April 5, 2020.

“The lack of identifying data being collected in the system should reassure individual users and alleviate personal inhibitions that appear to be the Achille’s heel of other digital contact tracing apps that require identifying information,” says Kassaye. She additionally famous that this technique could possibly be utilized by health-related organizations during the re-opening of enterprise to supply reassurance to their customers that the enterprise is actively, relatively than passively, monitoring its employees.

Feedback from healthcare teams utilizing the platform led to the discharge of a Spanish language model. As the information at present must be entered by way of the web site, improvement of an app for might significantly improve the usability of the device, mentioned the investigators. For locations the place is problematic, the researchers are additionally pursuing improvement of a voice activated model.

Researchers release COVID-19 symptom tracker app

More info:
Seble G Kassaye et al, Rapid Deployment of a Free, Privacy-Assured COVID-19 Symptom Tracker for Public Safety During Reopening: System Development and Feasibility Study, JMIR Public Health and Surveillance (2020). DOI: 10.2196/19399
The tracker will be view at

COVID-19 symptom tracker ensures privacy during isolation (2020, August 13)
retrieved 13 August 2020

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