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Tracking app to thermal camera, Indian startup ecosystem is coming together to fight coronavirus

, ET Online|
Last Updated: Apr 09, 2020, 10.28 AM IST
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The Quarantine app is still a work-in-progress and will have functions such as a self-reporting option where individuals who are feeling the symptoms can report themselves to authorities.

Highlights

  • The startup founders are planning to join hands with the government for the purpose.
  • Corona 100m is a GPS-powered app that informs citizens of the affected cases within 100 metres of their current location.
  • It also provides information on the patients’ age, gender and nationality.
As the novel coronavirus has taken the world by storm, everyone, including political leaders, celebrities, government agencies and influencers are playing their part in promoting awareness and preventing its spread. Joining the bandwagon is a group of over 200 entrepreneurs who are harnessing their innovative minds by bringing solutions to address the pandemic.

The collaboration, tentatively called- Founders against COVID, is in the process of developing an app called Quarantine app, which will live track the patients who are in home quarantine and those who have tested positive.

The collaboration, which consists of startup founders including Mayank Bidawatka, co-founder Vokal, Mekin Maheshwari, co-founder Udhyam.org, Urban Company, and others are planning to join hands with the government for the purpose.

Bidawatka, who proposed the idea of the application, told ET Digital, “A few days back I had thought of opening up a map view of where we can identify the location of the affected patients so that the locations can be marked as unsafe or risky. This way, citizens will know that these are risky spots and let's start with avoiding these areas.”

He added that while this was one idea, the other idea that his co-founder Aprameya Radhakrishna suggested was to create a tool which will give the authorities the ability to track the patients. “If they are supposed to be quarantined they can upload pictures in the app on a regular basis so that the authorities have the ability to keep track of a patient and whether he's following rules or not,” he said.

He highlighted that ideas to tweak the app are being discussed, such as a self-reporting option where individuals who are feeling the symptoms can report themselves to authorities. This will be available to both the authorities and the public to track.
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The founder of the regional content driven app said that the app is still a work in progress and they are in the early stages of discussion with the government.

He, however, acknowledged that the app also carries the risk of data privacy breach, which they want to make sure does not happen. “A lot of this data has to be anonymized and it is still unsafe to show an exact location of where a patient is because there is a high risk of them getting harassed.”

When asked about when the app will be launched, Bidawatka reiterated that they are in the early stages of discussion with the government and only after they are fulfilled, they will be able to launch something.

The aforementioned app draws parallels with some of the apps developed in South Korea- Coronamap and Corona100m. Coronamap enables users to identify locations in the map where the patients are admitted. It also offers a whole database of the dates when the cases were confirmed, the names of the hospitals and the patients’ travel route i.e., the places they visited before testing positive.

Corona 100m is a GPS-powered app that informs citizens of the affected cases within 100 metres of their current location. It also provides information on the patients’ age, gender and nationality.

Others chip in
Meanwhile, Gurugram-based AI-powered startup Staqu has launched a new thermal camera which detects individuals with a body temperature of more than 37 degree Celcius and alerts the system. Built under its video analytics team JARVIS, the thermal camera examines heat signatures and identifies suspected patients.

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With a range of up to 100 meters, the camera is able to identify multiple people at once. This can come extremely handy in scanning crowded places like airports, railway stations, malls, etc. It has a sensitivity range from- high sensitivity range of -40 to 160C or -40 to 320F, whereas the low sensitivity of -40 to 550C and -40 to 1022F.

Atul Rai, CEO and Co-founder said, “Our latest technology removes human intervention in early stages of detection. Through heat wave analysis and more, the technology helps in proactively taking preventive efforts to reduce the risk of the spreading the virus. ”

Helping in preventing the spread of the virus which is known to be physically contagious, automobile startup Droom has launched an antimicrobial surface protection shield for cars and two-wheelers called Corona Shield. The firm claims that the shield has been proven to be effective against Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and similar droplet-based viruses for up to four months.

This Shield protects surfaces against harmful microbes as it prevents the growth of microorganisms such as bacteria, algae, yeast, mold, and mildew.

Akshay Singh, VP, Enterprise & Strategy at Droom said, “The accumulation of bacteria on frequently touched surfaces is the key to the transmission of any infection. COVID-19 or the coronavirus can live on a solid surface for a considerable amount of time. So, after 14 days of quarantine, when people are ready to step out of their houses, it is important to ensure that there is no virus left alive in their personal vehicles.”

The shield is priced at Rs 499 for 2-wheeler bike/scooter and Rs 999 for a hatchback.
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