Smart solutions for reducing the risk and impact of COVID-19

Technologies we took for granted yesterday will soon save lives tomorrow. COVID-19 has forced 3 billion people into lock down around the globe, but even that hasn’t stopped some enterprising cohorts of talent around the world from coming together to apply their skills, experience and knowledge to developing potential solutions to deal with the pandemic.

Earlier today I spoke with 22yr old Sophie Wharrie, Chief Technology Officer at Velmio, who’s globally distributed team recently developed a Corona tracker app. It’s a data driven app to help you monitor the COVID-19 outbreak and contribute to research efforts worldwide.

Normally working on pregnancy health tracking, the team volunteered time to develop a data driven app to help you monitor the COVID-19 outbreak and contribute to research efforts worldwide.

Users simply download the app and answer some questions about their symptoms and risk factors. They can also share their location and data from their wearable devices, to help data scientists create a visualization of how the virus is spreading and help everyone understand the risk level around them.

Velmio developed the Corona-tracker app in response to Estonia’s “Hack the Crisis” virtual hackathon event, ranking within the top 5 teams to receive support from Accelerate Estonia, Limitless Fund and Bolt to further develop their project during the state of emergency.

The “Hack the Crisis” movement has since spread across the world, with start-ups coming together to solve urgent issues in their local communities as part of The Global Hack which has already drawn attention across the globe – covered by Forbes, Silicon Republic, GovInsider among others – and brought on board a fleet of world-class mentors, such as Silicon Valley’s tech superstar Steve Jurvetson, former President of Estonia Toomas Hendrik Ilves and Chris Anderson – Head of TED

Across the pond in Pittsburgh, researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have developed a BETA version of an app that aims to determine whether you might have COVID-19 simply by analyzing your voice. Worldwide, there are particularly widespread shortages of testing kits, so whilst the app’s results are preliminary and untested, it has the potential to be a highly scalable solution.

And in Korea, a local developer has developed a data visualisation app using public government data to allow users to see how close they are to confirmed Covid-19 patients, with the app alerting users if they are within 100m of a location visited by Covid-19 patients.

Regardless of whether you’re perfectly healthy, infected or recovered, thanks to smart technology, globally connected talent and 3 billion people working from home, now is an ideal time to connect and work together to help each other fight the crisis and bring this pandemic to a swift end.