As world leaders are trying to figure out the best way to slow the spread of the Coronavirus, other institutions are finding solutions too.
For instance, many places are doing temperature checks. A high fever is one of the symptoms for the virus so some areas will check your temperature beforehand. In San Francisco, a more modern thermometer shares the temperature readings and tracks the numbers. It collects and analyzes the data (anonymously), which allows a program called Kinsa to show maps that predict where COVID-19 hot spots are devolving.
It was initially designed to track the flu however, the company’s founder and CEO Inder Singh believes it’s a tool that can “pinpoint clusters of COVID-19 early on.” Dark colors on the Kinsa map indicate where a hot spot area is.
Reported on the Wall Street Journal, the US government is gathering data from cell phones to track the spread of the virus. Their goal is to have a better understanding of Americans and their whereabouts during the pandemic, and how it could be impacting the spread.
The federal government through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, state and local governments have started looking at data from certain geographic areas using cellphone technology, but sensitive information, like the user’s name won’t be given out. The data would show which areas are still having large crowds. For example, researchers found a larger number of New Yorkers have been visiting Prospect Park in Brooklyn. Although parks have advisory warnings about coronavirus, they haven’t been closed. The data would also show how many people are complying with the stay at home order.
It also looks at the economic impact. About 500 cities could be looked at, according to the report. It does raise concerns about privacy protections and the CDC or the White House responded to the Wall Street Journal for comment, as of yet.
Do you think technology will be a useful tool in slowing the spread?