Microsoft Engineer Adapts Fan-Tracking App for COVID-19 Use
|Photo Credit kfyrtv|
The Care19 app is designed to help people reduce COVID-19 prevalence by reversing people who tested positive for the virus to find another person to contact the sick person and collect data to assist
t in modeling, Governor Doug Bergum said on Tuesday. This was stated during the daily briefing.
This is one of the ways that every North Dakota Care 19 app can be saved by downloading it, ”Bergum said.
Tim Brookins, a leading software engineer at Fargo’s Microsoft campus and the CEO of sports app software company Predcad, introduced the popular Bison Tracker app. Last year, more than 15000 football fans from various states and provinces entered the application for the eighth national title in the state of North Dakota in nine years.
A COVID-19 brain investigation with Microsoft engineers sparked the idea while introducing Microsoft’s former executive, Borgum Brookins, as the creator of a bison tracker.
“My staff just kind of lit up and said, ‘That’s what we need,'” Brookins told The Associated Press.
The app is free and useful. It has been approved for Apple users and should be available for Android devices in about a week, Bergum said.
Like the Bison Tracker, Care 19 is anonymous and doesn’t ask for names, phone numbers or login information. Once the app is downloaded, individuals will be given a random ID number and it will cache the person’s locations throughout the day. Users are then encouraged to categorize their movements into different groups such as work or grocery.
State health officials are still relying on extensive interviews with people who are still ill or in some cases disabled. According to federal health officials, the app should show users the places they were located for at least 15 minutes, if people communicate face-to-face, then it takes time for them to be at high risk for virus infection.
Brookins said the app can also assign risk scores to users, depending on how they operate and communicate across the state. If a person is at home for the most part with occasional trips to the grocery store or gas station, he or she will be destined for a lower risk. If people go to work for eight hours and in many cases are deemed necessary for the job, this will probably put them in the high-risk bucket.
While this information should be valuable to state officials in their modeling and planning, Brookins said Bergum is a “highly information-driven man.” One of the reasons the governor did not issue a stay-at-home order is that he said he did not find any figures that showed it made any difference.
“Everyone wants to know, especially our president when we can go back to normal when we leave the places we live in, such things,” Brookins said. “Well, knowing how people are moving will inform and make us better guesses.”