PathCheck Foundation Adds Covi-ID Technology and Team To Increase Access To Exposure Notification To Vulnerable Communities Worldwide
The Covi-ID Solution Offers A Free And Private QR-Code-Based Contact Tracing Solution
CAMBRIDGE, MA – SEPTEMBER 10, 2020 – PathCheck Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to enabling open-source, privacy-preserving technology and public health solutions to contain COVID-19, today announced that Covi-ID has joined the family of PathCheck solutions.
Covi-ID was founded by Co-Pierre Georg, a professor of economics at University of Cape Town, South Africa. The Covi-ID solution uses QR codes and innovative privacy-preserving backend technologies to enhance contact tracing and exposure notification in markets with low smartphone penetration. With 3.5 billion smartphone users (50 percent of the population), that leaves 50 percent of the population unable to get digitally notified about a possible exposure. Covi-ID will integrate with the PathCheck SafePlaces CT, web tools for contract tracers, to fill the gap that exists for billions of non-smart phone users.
“PathCheck is committed to containing the COVID-19 pandemic in every community, including communities with low smartphone adoption where mobile apps will not be effective,” said Adam Berrey, chief executive officer of PathCheck Foundation. “Co-Pierre and his team have pioneered solutions that do not depend on phones and provide secure, privacy-preserving insights into outbreaks and exposures, which enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of manual contact tracing. We’re excited to have Covi-ID as a new project within PathCheck Foundation.”
PathCheck believes that the power of contact tracing – test, trace, isolate – should be available to everyone, especially in communities and countries that are the most vulnerable and don’t have strong public health infrastructures. QR codes are ubiquitous around the world, and are an innovative way of helping people understand where they have been and when they may have potentially been exposed.
“Beyond addressing the COVID-19 pandemic today, our goal is to make PathCheck Foundation a lasting institution that supports innovation, standards, research, and services at the intersection of technology and public health,” said Ramesh Raskar, founder, chairman, and chief scientist of PathCheck Foundation. “Becoming a home for amazing efforts like Covi-ID and others is central to our mission.”
Covi-ID is a free open source contract tracing solution for communities seeking alternatives for non-smartphone users that relies on QR codes and uses the latest privacy-preserving technology. Users generate a QR code that can be scanned by security guards, taxi operators, and teachers using the Covi-ID verifier app. The app issues geolocation receipts to the users’ personal data wallet which is linked to their QR code. Users who test positive for COVID-19 can be contacted by a manual contact tracers and then volunteer her geolocation receipts to the system so that anyone who might have been exposed by being in the same place at the same time – based on their privately stored geolocation history can be contacted by a contact tracer. For users without smartphones, the unique QR code can be printed in internet cafes, bank branches, at school, or by a friend or relative. Covi-ID is also available for organizations and the government. All medical information shared is strictly voluntary and no in-app data is stored outside of the users’ personal data wallets.
“During this pandemic, emerging countries have faced their own COVID-19 challenge – low smartphone adoption means that most tools that work in other countries to help contain the virus will not work in these vulnerable areas,” said Co-Pierre Georg, founder of Covi-ID. “Everyone should have the ability to be part of the contact tracing solution. PathCheck Foundation shares a similar mission as we do, and we are thrilled to join their team and continue our work together to innovate and create inclusive digital, privacy-preserving solutions to help contain COVID-19.”
The Covi-ID community of about 150 volunteers join the 1,800 volunteers and a large core team of technology and public health professionals, passionate about free solutions that help protect communities by leveraging technology innovation. Their research insights will be shared with the PathCheck consortium of participants interested in building the best digital health solutions to contain COVID-19 and revitalize the economy, while protecting individual privacy and liberty.
About PathCheck Foundation
Spun out of MIT, PathCheck Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to containing the pandemic and revitalizing economies while preserving individual privacy and liberty. PathCheck builds open source software, advises health authorities and private sector organizations, and provides research and insights related to digital contact tracing, exposure notification, and digital public health solutions. With significant charitable funding, 1,800 volunteers, and a core team of technology and public health professionals, PathCheck Foundation is the leading nonprofit dedicated to creating technology solutions to stop the pandemic and build safe, healthy, resilient communities.
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