‘Open Pandemic’ is free to use for every country affected by COVID-19.
The first ERP system for handling the pandemic situation is designed to help with the management and mitigation of the current COVID-19 outbreak. The solution is open-source and free under license and consists of a central platform for monitoring, analytics and management, and a mobile application, for location and information sharing. The system helps, both, governments or relevant bodies, tasked with managing a viral spread, and the general population by providing app users with analytics-based notifications and a waze-like peer-to-peer reporting functionality for groupings and gatherings around supermarkets, pharmacies and public places.
Such a system can aid governments in their efforts to direct their limited resources where they are most effective towards limiting, both, the live losts and the economic consequences of the outbreak. It aims to provide tools for the numerous phases of the outbreak. Assistance and real-time information is paramount for the isolation and lock-down phase, its effectiveness and enforcement monitoring.
It is, however, equally important to manage the process of loosening the restrictions and provide data-based decisions on the reduction of the lock-down. A modular and analytics-based loosening of measures for areas where it is probabilistically safer to do so will be of high importance to the safety of people and the faster economic recovery of nations. Moreover, people with a lower risk of being infected and carrying the disease can be identified and can have permissions lifted for them, thus limiting their impact on the outbreak and the economy.
We have adopted best-practices from countries that have successfully utilized technology already to manage the crisis — Japan, South Korea, and China. Their experience proves, and that can’t be stressed enough- that the restrictive measures alone, without an intelligent technology solution for crisis management, are not efficient enough. We are applying our expertise in ERP healthcare systems in a solution which we provide for free to help countries fight COVID-19.
Users will have the possibility to track and self-report their current health and receive personalized advice and notifications based on their data. The gathering and storage of these data will be completely anonymous and will be used for the algorithm, determining the zone with higher probability of infection. Users can get quick access to information, regulations, and advice, distributed through the central platform and, upon need, can get directions to a hospital or other institutions for receiving help.
Initially the idea was to build just a geolocation service to track people’s trajectories, similar to other such existing systems, but we quickly realized that this information only gives a limited view over the relevant data and is not sufficient to inform truly efficient decision making.
The solution consists of a mobile app for use by citizens and a central platform for use by the authorized country/health service personnel. It is possible for a country only to take the central platform and use their own apps and data sources. The key pillars of the solution are Monitoring, Analysis, Communication and Capacity Management.
The mobile app has a focus on providing real-time information, notifications and warnings, having a personal health profile, access to quick reliable data, and receiving medical advice. Based on their location, users of the application will receive notifications of probable contacts with positively tested people or upon entering or exiting a geographical zone with increased probability of contracting COVID-19. Zones and probabilities are determined by the algorithms in the central platform, using multiple data sources in conjunction with the data provided by users of the mobile application.
A self-submitting functionality allows users to further mark crowding or big lines of more people at supermarkets, pharmacies or public places, on a map, for other users and themselves to see. The mechanism for user-submission is backed by the option to confirm or reject submissions by other users, mitigating the risk of false reporting and incorrect data. The number of confirmations is marked on the map, next to the icon, indicating the crowding. This functionality will mitigate the initial need for a large user base and data and allows users to quickly start receiving actionable and relevant insights, thus increasing the utility to users and their overall engagement and adoption of the application. It is planned for this feature to also allow users to self-submit and mark stores and retail locations where regulations or standards violations occur, which further protects users and pinpoints the government efforts.
People will decide whether to use the app anonymously or to share their identity.
The central platform is used for real-time monitoring and analysis. It is driven by a graphical (map) interface. Users can be tracked. Quarantine zones can be set. Messages can be sent to users. Possible to drill-down to specific cases and take action (e.g. set quarantine, schedule test, ..).
Security & Privacy
Only authorized health and government institutions of the country implementing the system will have access to people’s health information, and this will be restricted to specific users. Users can decide to register anonymously if they wish, and can also decide to only using manual tracking.
Quarantine zones management
When a given zone- be it an ATM machine, a supermarket, a hospital, or simply a geographical area - is marked as infected and is put under quarantine, people who have been in contact with this zone will be notified and can be quarantined and/or tested with priority.
Digital certificates for movement
We are working on a module that will support authorized persons movement during any lock-down scenario. Forms/certificates from employers may be uploaded, validated and subsequently checked by authorized persons (e.g. police) or at check-points.
Management of crucial resources
In order to achieve a full understanding of the situation, real-time information about critical resources in a health crisis management is included, namely: hospitals and laboratories and test centers. Hospitals- location, number of beds- ICU and regular, availabilities; personnel available; ventilators and other equipment- total number of units and availabilities by location; institution quarantine status; Laboratories and test centers— information about test types and availabilities, processing times;
Testing prioritizing, scheduling and results
The system supports optimal prioritizing of tests for people in a higher risk due to either symptoms or contact. Tests can be scheduled by time and location with results delivered electronically together with any recommended actions.
There are already additional modules being worked on to enhance even further the information and capabilities. These include:
ATM machines can also be monitored. Based on transaction data, the platform has data of users that have interacted with a specific ATM machine. The system will not have any information regarding the performed transactions and will not violate bank secrecy and will be based on an identification system, not providing or accessing personal information. Such a feature can be introduced with the explicit request and management by a government.
Depending on availability information about people who have interacted with given ATM machine will be based on bank information. This will not violate bank secrecy as the system will not have any knowledge about the types of operations, it will simply know the identity of the person who has used the ATM if allowed by the government.
The geolocational method is not optimal for the case of public transport as access to GPS data is inconsistent. That’s why the system will work with QR codes. Each vehicle- from taxis to trains- will have a QR code which the users can scan to state their contact with this particular vehicle. People will be notified in case a vehicle they have been in contact with is consequently marked as infected. That’s one of the things South Korea did to fight the spreading of the virus.
Predictive analytics module
We are planning for a predictive analytics module based on mathematical models. The specific advantage here is the customization of parameters regarding the areas- number of residents, population density, number of most probable contact points and mobility rating. These parameters will vary for a small village and a big city in order to obtain more accurate results as opposed to looking at entire countries.
We are learning from the proven successful strategies of the countries that have dealt with the crisis with notably low fatalities rates. We are working towards improving these strategies. A crisis of such scale can only be ended with the joint efforts of all people- from the medical professionals fighting at the frontline to the executive officials in the crisis management teams’ headquarters, who need analytic insight to make the right decisions. Each person can contribute to a successful outcome by being responsible.
We are working really hard to complete the solution development as soon as possible. Version 1 is available from the 2nd week of April. Each country that chooses to implement the system will have access to the source code free, under license. They will have the right to work with it in whatever way they find necessary and useful- change the code or add to it, during the COVID-19 pandemic. We are partnering with m-cloudware to support international availability and implementation.
We believe that we must not panic in the face of this undoubtedly major crisis. We must act in a timely, intelligent and disciplined manner in order to — and it really boils down to — save as many lives as possible.
elasticsearch, matlab, python, r, typescript