#HackfromHome - an anti-viral virtual hackathon.

We’re giving people a chance to respond with action, working together to improve the lives of everyone affect by the Coronavirus. Our goal is to band together to help communities, patients, and their families better using what we know best - technology.

If possible, these ideas should preserve the privacy of individuals through the use of Personal Data Accounts. For more information on Personal Data Accounts read this.



Testing the World Through AI and a Smartphone

The world needs better testing, but we don’t have the tests to go around. Broader testing would allow us to determine many things, including how many people have been infected but are only mildly symptomatic. If we knew this number, policies could be more carefully crafted to prevent further spread by individuals who will never be tested because they never go to a hospital because they only have mild symptoms (which appears to be the vast majority of those who are infected). Let’s create a test of sorts that would be available worldwide through the use of smartphones. Epidemiologists and physicians have already identified a list of symptoms that more often than not appear in those who are infected but are only mildly symptomatic. The app would allow users only one use. In that use, though, the user would check off the symptoms they believe they have. The person would also provide other relevant information, such as their location, whether they’ve ever been tested before, how long they had their symptoms, etc. Again, the app would be designed for a one-time use. The data would then be fed into an AI filter of sorts that would analyze the data, sort it, and look for trends and overall numbers. The results would provide for the first time a worldwide picture of this virus, including a vastly better estimate of the denominator for determining the virus’s overall mortality rate. The app could also be re-established for reuse in, say, one month’s time to get another snapshot of the virus’s progress across the globe. While the data would still be imperfect, since it would be only from those individuals who have smartphones and decided to use the app, we nevertheless would have created a vastly better way of getting a picture of this virus’s spread across the globe and the characteristics of its spread. And the cost would be only the time it takes to develop it. Word of its use could be spread across a wide variety of platforms for free.

  • Dennis Terez
  • Apr 3 2020
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  • Ben Glanton commented
    4 Apr 12:49pm

    Emphatically don't want to seem negative.

    There are already apps that are trying to do some of this. The UK's NHS has a symptoms checker, and there's apps asking the wider population to track potential symptoms so that the spread of the virus can be measured.

    Would it be appropriate to suggest that it would profitable to look for existing technology in this space and work towards open-sourcing and internationalizing it?

  • Dennis Terez commented
    3 Apr 07:46am

    See this link for a preliminary view of this idea presented by the author Michael Lewis. https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2020-04-01/tracking-coronavirus-by-smell-test-is-risk-manager-s-project-now

  • Sally Huang commented
    3 Apr 07:45am

    I think this is a cool idea, just wondering if you've seen WebMD's version of this