IIT Roorkee develops mobile app to track Covid-19 patients in quarantine
This app can track suspected patients who have been quarantined by setting up a geo-fence around them. If they move out of that radius, the app will alert authorities
To augment government's efforts for surveillance of COVID suspects, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Roorkee has developed a mobile app which can track suspected or quarantined persons, set up geo-fencing around them and alert concerned authorities if the geo-fencing is violated.
Geo-fencing is a location-based service where an app uses global positioning system (GPS) or radio frequency identification (RFID), Wi-Fi or cellular data to trigger a pre-programmed action when a mobile device enters or exits a virtual boundary set up around a geographical location, known as a geo-fence.
The app, which has been developed by Dr Kamal Jain, professor at IIT Roorkee's department of civil engineering, can track suspected or quarantined persons, set up a geo-fence around him or her and alert the system if he or she crosses the virtual boundary.
Jain said in case GPS data is not received, the location will be obtained automatically through the mobile network and phone towers.
"If the internet is not working in a certain area, the location will be received through SMS. If the application gets off, an alert will be received immediately. The location of the person can be received by sending an SMS to the device. It (the app) allows the sharing of quarantined persons/places photographs on Google Maps and uploading a geo-tagged image to a server. Then, administrators can view all reports on the map. If installed on the affected person, it can provide a history of all the people in his vicinity for a defined period," he said.
Jain said the tracking system helps in high-tech surveillance during Covid-19 by facilitating quarantine management and overcoming overcrowding at any location by issuing an alert to the predefined agency.
"This is our small step to supplement government efforts in these testing times," Jain added.
Giving technical details of the tracking app, Jain said the surveillance system is a plug-and-play device and allows tracking with an accuracy of +/- 5 meters through notifications over 2, 10 or 20 seconds.
"Besides live tracking, the administrator can view the entire movement history of an individual. In case of loss of data, the device sends an alert to the concerned team. Other features of the app include multi-camera support, surveillance magnetic device, halt time and auto camera click at a preset time," he said.
A few days ago, IIT Roorkee had also developed a low-cost 3D printed face shield to protect medical practitioners from coronavirus infection. The face shield was developed by a group of students and professors in the institute's technical facility named 'The Tinkering Laboratory', which encourages innovations and experiments by students.