PathCheck Foundation Announces Creation of New flagship Mobile Application

   

PathCheck Foundation is pleased to announce the development of its new flagship application to support novel disease surveillance.

PathCheck Foundation is pleased to announce the development of its new flagship application to support novel disease surveillance through open source, privacy-preserving technology that promotes equitable, affordable and improved health outcomes for all.

PathCheck will continue to leverage NoPeek Privacy and distributed deep learning models developed at MIT to protect app users and restrict confidential patterns in data while still allowing the possibility to create data models that protect the public's health. These data models can be leveraged by health agencies and governments to respond to pandemics and novel diseases alike, thus, protecting public health. Building upon its previous digital technology, PathCheck's new app will capture crowdsourced health information, analyze data for public/precision health (using NoPeek Privacy), engage citizens via personalized recommendations based on data obtained within the app, enable users to sign up for Exposure Notifications (EN) and provide resources for users to monitor their symptoms.

When I joined the PathCheck Foundation, I saw it as an opportunity to re-envision my previous work in novel disease detection through a pandemic lens with the tools that PathCheck’s team had developed,” said Graham Dodge, president. “We have an opportunity to develop truly open source technology that can support crowdsourcing syndromic surveillance that allows for the rapid detection and response to disease outbreaks.”

The new application will leverage “Exposure Sensors,” location information that will rely on locations that matter most to users, and only when those locations are tripped by others, thus reducing the burden of data storage, data analysis, and visualization challenges (such as geo sensors). Users will receive notifications for the locations they care about the most, including where they work, live, work, go to school, shop, eat, or perhaps where they are planning a vacation. Exposure Sensors act as virtual, disease motion detectors that alert users whenever other PathCheckers (PathCheck app users) have recently reported symptoms that enter or overlap with sensor areas, or when public health agencies and other data partners report alerts in the locales where the sensors are located. Exposure Sensors leverage sharding, split learning and other best practices of No Peek Privacy to distribute data on a need-to-know basis while minimizing (and potentially removing) the need for location services.  

This application is being developed in direct response to code and exposure notification (EN) apps developed under Google Apple Exposure Notification (GAEN) system during the pandemic that are now being decommissioned. PathCheck’s focus is to provide public health agencies with the opportunity to continue to leverage these technologies for the surveillance of novel diseases such as the flu, Norovirus outbreaks, Monkeypox and others that pose a threat to public health. 

PathCheck Foundation believes that developing this application will enable countries to use health data to promote health and well-being among citizens, even if participation is well below 40%. For example, the Waze traffic app needs only 1% of the driving population to use its service in order to be able to represent traffic accurately. Therefore, it is only likely that a “Waze for Public Health” app could strengthen and scale up health promotion, disease prevention, disease detection and response.

About PathCheck Foundation: 
Founded at MIT in March 2020 by Dr. Ramesh Raskar, PhD and a passionate team of social entrepreneurs. PathCheck rapidly evolved to a network of over 3,000 professional and student volunteers conducting research and development for pandemic response. For more information, please visit: https://www.pathcheck.org