We'll be moving on to our last group of the morning session which consists of Fareeda, Michael, and EJ. They have been working on an app called “Going Viral” that could be used for communities to help combat COVID-19, especially communities like Amherst College. I will send it over to them.
This is “Going Viral” by Fareeda, Ernest, and Michael. So COVID-19 will be a moment that's talked about for years to come. There will be, there has not been one country that has remained unaffected by the effects of COVID, and although there’s a virus vaccine on the way, although we're hopeful about the work for a vaccine, we're still living in a new normal, so the question remains, how do we navigate this new normal? We cannot stay in quarantine forever, and how do we balance the need for social interaction with keeping everyone safe?
As colleges, schools and office open up, we need to know what methods keep coronavirus under control. These are the methods that were used by the success stories of the world. So these are our model countries where we took some of the tools from. Basically we had Germany. In Germany they had a really good, they have a centralized pay system so they have a centralized health insurance system, and they were able to ramp up testing very quickly. They also had a more centralized information source than we had in America. Although the national and state level might have had different orders for what the people should do. People had one centralized place to get their information from and they trusted the information they were getting. They also utilized contact tracing.
Secondly we have Japan. One thing that was unique about Japan is that they never officially went on lockdown. Instead they implemented contact tracing and the three C's.
The three C's are where people do not go into enclosed spaces, close contact spaces, or spaces where people are really close together. Using these three C's they were able to defeat Covid without going into lockdown. They also had a culture of mask wearing before COVID began.
Lastly we had South Korea. One of the unique things about South Korea is that they did digital contact tracing which is basically where you utilize mobile gps, credit card information, where they swipe their credit card, stuff like that, in order to find where people who've been exposed, who they had contact with. They also had really good testing systems and they utilized isolation, which basically means when someone had COVID, they'd be isolated and there would be a healthcare provider who would check on them at least twice a day.
From these countries you can get kind of a sense of the tools needed to prevent the spread of COVID. One of the things you need is testing. You need a centralized information source. You need self-reporting, mask wearing, contact tracing, and trust. But all these things we talked about are from the national level. How do we get this type of response to the individual level, into small communities? How do we combine all of these and make it accessible to a wide array of people. Introducing—cue the shark tank music—“Going Viral,” a one-stop-shop to all things COVID-related. Centered around communities that can make using this app a requirement to entering the space. Designed to help the individual make informed decisions about their community even if their larger country does not wish to do the same. We know it's hard being in quarantine but “Going Viral” will make it easy. This app will help users make informed decisions, keep good habits up, and prizes will surely be lined up.
Now we're going to take you through the journey that various students have while using this app at a small liberal arts college. So local Amherst College student, Abbey, wakes up, opens her app and sees she is now above [inaudible] from wearing her mask and maintaining social distancing. She goes to check what she has won. And now here is a concept idea of the incentive page of the “Going Viral” app.
As you can see she is currently on a six day face-mask wearing streak and is about to earn a deal at Schwemms. One of the most novel aspects of our app is our attempt to create buy-in. We believe a major aspect that is missing in the discussion of the creation of COVID-campus guidelines is how are we going to make students accept and follow these rather restrictive goals. Our answer to that is the creation of incentives. So we basically integrated a reward system for following campus guidelines and app notifications as well as for full consistency in taking tests, maintaining social distancing, avoiding hot spots and from maintaining sanitary habits. These rewards vary from snapchat filters to in-app badges and customization deals with coupons for Schwemms, Amherst gear, and what I think is at least my personal favorite, delivery from town.
This raises the question of whether positive reinforcement really does work. And according to our research, we found that negative reinforcement is effective for short-term habitual changes. However, positive reinforcement is better for the creation of long-term habits. As the future of COVID-19 is uncertain, we believe as a group it will be more beneficial if students and our peers develop these long-term habits. Of course people have different ways of responding to rewards and as such we have a variety of rewards and will continue to improve on our reward system.
As for the discussion of intrinsic versus extrinsic motivation, it is true that our rewards are extrinsic yet for physical rewards, however we strongly believe that our users will develop intrinsic motivation from a sense of protecting not only themselves but their peers, community, and loved ones.
Now we have Brad. Brad wakes up and decides he needs to log in his vitals This is what he sees. He reads through the list and he discovers he has been feeling feverish chills and sweating. He had a really rough last night, so this is another aspect of our app. Let's Check Vitals. Self--monitoring. We think these are one of the keys to defeating COVID-19. What makes COVID-19 so pervasive is that, in a lot of people, it shows up as really mild symptoms.
So unless someone's checking for those symptoms they might just rub it off as them having a bad day or them having the cold. This allows the user to easily go through the symptoms list and check what they have. If a user happens to select one of the symptoms, there'll be an automatic notification sent to them that they should get tested. It will also change the daily status from maybe you have a good time you can go out to something like go get tested.
People are busy. This tool will force them to stop and think about their health and they'll do it in a convenient way. All our symptoms that we use for this app, we got it from the CDC, so that's where this came from.
Before George steps out of his dorm, he wants to see what path he can take into the science center to safely make it to his lab with little contact with individuals. That's where heat mapping comes in. This is the first floor of his dorm. Red is a no-go. That means this area has close to the maximum occupancy contact with that space. Green means that very little have interacted with that space. So given this heat map, George decides to take the side stairwells and exit through a side door. Heat mapping is crucial because it allows the user to decide what path they want to take. With that, this enforces social distancing at the discretion of the user. Lastly, this allows for custodial staff and administration to pay attention to areas that have more physical contact such as entrances and restrooms.
Emily realizes that she hasn't heard much about COVID-19 in the past week so she opens her COVID- 19 updates. She finds that she can see the number of cases and deaths for the U.S, Massachusetts and Hampshire County. Then under that, she decides to check state updates such as phases and protocols. Next to that she finds current COVID-19 updates. COVID- 19's updates are crucial because it allows for easy access to the number of cases, deaths within the county, state and country, which allows for it to be compared amongst all three of them. Protocols and phases of the state can be accessed and compared to one another as well, and then breaking news regarding COVID-19 research and findings can be found here rather than having to look through twitter, instagram, a whole bunch of other sites that take a while to piece together.
Next we have Kate. Kate discovers that she has a notification so she decides to click it. So these are two examples of the notifications we will send. We have this first, which is a push notification that basically says don't forget your mask. Social distancing is key so basically we work on having daily reminders which are push notifications for everyone so that we can get them in the habit of wearing their mask. The way that our push notifications will work is once someone leaves their dorm, the push notification will be sent so that if they happen to forget their mask they can just run inside their dorm and get it real quickly. We also think it's a good time to send a push notification because people aren't busy and people don't like push notifications that kind of disrupt their schedule based on research we found on the [inaudible] database. We'll also have sms notification or test notifications. These notifications will be for more urgent things such as someone who came in contact with someone that has COVID. As this message says, “Hello Kate. You're within two feet of an individual with COVID-9 this morning. Please get tested as soon as possible or asap, no Rocky.” And we think that the reason why we want to use text notifications for this part is because 90 percent of people read a text message within 30 minutes so we can be sure that if serious information is there, people will get that information quickly and efficiently. We'll also use this sms text notification to alert someone if they're leaving the bubble that their institution has set out for them.
But contact tracing. More about contact tracing. The way our app will work is that it will use digital contact tracing instead of classical contact tracing. The main difference between these two methods is that classical contract contact tracing has around a 72 hour delay between the time that the person realizes they're infected and all those who could be potentially exposed to them get that notification, while a mobile app could have a four hour delay. One of the key things about digital contact tracing is that 60 percent of people would need to adopt this technology in order for it to like stop a potential outbreak but even if less than 60 percent of people adopt this technology, it can still work to help mitigate the effects of coronavirus.
We have to also understand colleges' unique situations.Although students are practicing social distancing guidelines, they're interacting with a lot of people on a daily basis. We cannot expect students to remember every person that they've had close contact with. Secondly students may not feel comfortable telling someone over the phone who they've had close contact with because maybe they weren't following the guidelines set out by the school and they're in someone's dorm room when they should have been but this helps mitigate for that. Also a large percentage of exposures happen before symptoms are present so people simply just don't know that they have COVID and they're just going around they're going around their days like they don't have COVID and they don't think anything is wrong. This app will allow people to get instant notification if they come in contact with someone who has COVID.
Then how this will work. Basically we're going to be using a mixture of bluetooth and gps and the way it will work, let's say we have person y and person x. Person y and person x are walking down the street and they decide, oh they haven't seen each other for forever and they come in contact with each other. When that happens each person has a unique id. Each phone will store that information locally within the phone and then it will also keep track of the date that this happened in the location that it happened so once the two conversations are done they leave each other and person y discovers oh they have covid. Once that happens it will be uploaded into a database and the person x's phone would download all that information of all the ids that have had COVID. It will check its logs and see if it's had any contact with that unique id. If it finds a match, a notification would then be sent to the user. The user will receive the date and the location of the possible exposure.
Now Jake, before leaving his dorm for the first time of the day, checks his daily status. The daily status portion of the app acts as a recommendation for how users should go about their day.
There are three possible options that will appear. The first, keep calm, carry on, and stay safe means the user is healthy and has not been exposed to any risky activity recently. The second, stop by the clinic and get tested today, will be used for reminding you to be tested in the case of when the user may have been exposed to the virus recently. The last option, stay home rest up, is the one Jake has now, is used in the case that the user has tested positively for the virus and acts as a reminder for them to self quarantine.
You are probably wondering where's my data going? Who can access my data? Will the school know everything that I do? Is my information going to be given to the government? Don't worry. “Going Viral” has you covered. In regards to contact tracing, how would your data be kept safe?
One way it's going to be kept safe is that all location and bluetooth data is stored locally on the user phone. The only time that that data leaves your phone is in the case that you have COVID-19 and then your unique id is sent over. It's kind of broadcasted and phones can then download that broadcast and see have they had any contact with that unique id. All the data will be encrypted and each phone is given a unique id but this unique id has no correspondence to your personal identity. Also the location of the potential infection site has a blurred 200 meter radius. We thought it was important to give people the location of where the potential exposure can happen but not give them the exact location because we just want them to jog their memory. For example let's say the exposure site was maybe June 18th at the science center. If they remember oh that day I was wearing my mask and i didn't come in close contact with anyone, they can know that their risk of exposure is relatively low.
Now privacy involving the app. Let me start by saying that there will be complete transparency of the data collected, of course not the specific whereabouts of individuals but the overall contract tracing. This means the college will only be able to see the aggregate of the data. The students will be protected but also the college can make decisions they deem fit, lthough “Going Viral” and Amherst College strongly encourage you to not leave campus, know that you will not be tracked if you decide to leave. There will be a bubble corresponding with the campus so once you leave that space, “Going Viral” will no longer collect data. The school will know how many individuals left the bubble but not the specific students that did. We incorporated that so the students’ whereabouts are protected and the school can make decisions based off those observations. In order to address all of the worries about companies having your data we will follow the study k-anonymity technique. in the early stages of the COVID-19 outbreak Europe used this method through anonymized phone location data. This system has location allocated for groups to smaller than 30 so the individual's behavior won't be snatched up.
What “Going Viral” will do for Amherst specifically is collect data by dorm halls and make adjustments to floors that may be too small. As far as the health insurance portability and accountability act, the app will comply to it if there is consent given by the user.
Before signing into the app we will ensure that the user is informed of that and there will be a privacy statement going along with it. Lastly we would like to say that the information will be deleted every two months from somebody's phone or electronics to ensure that memory will
not be taken up on their electronic device and it will be uploaded to a database so you can go back and you can track what has happened previously.
Here are some citations of the papers that we used. [citations appear on screen]
We would like to send out a special thank you to Professor Edwards, Professor Bailey, and Professor Durr, as well as the biology statistics and chemistry departments. Thank you so much to Amherst College as well for allowing for our research to be made possible, and thank you all for tuning in.
Don't forget, go viral with us.