As the COVID-19 pandemic unfolds, there have been undeniable gaps in gathering data for individuals and the local governments. To help out, researchers from the Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute at Cornell Tech developed a data-centered app called Opendemic, where users will share their locations and COVID-19 status. In return, the app will send out notifications about nearby cases, both potential and verified.
“We wanted to help solve the issue of the lack of actual data on who has symptoms,” said David Hachuel, who has spearheaded the development with his business partner Alfonso Martinez. “Because of the lack of test kits, we need to rely on self-reporting, and the idea here is to have a database that can be open to public health authorities so they can use that data, in addition to the data they already have, to make decisions about the right interventions.”
Opendemic aims to help people make better decisions for social distancing by checking the COVID-19 cases nearby.
Currently, Hachuel and Martinez are reaching out to other teams to develop similar projects and compile even more data. “We’re not trying to be the only platform,” Hachuel said. “The idea is that anyone can contribute to a unified database.”