Recently we went through a major change in life, we had to change how we live, how we work, and where we go. COVID-19 has been classified as a pandemic by the World Health Organization and with the cases rising daily, we can still say that we are not safe. With movement restrictions to lockdowns in many countries, COVID-19 has changed our lives and our responsibility as humans is to stay safe and keep our loved ones safe.
There are many ways a person can stay safe nevertheless, we also need tools and proper information. Informative tools may include chatbots, dashboards showing the cases and maps which mark supplies. In addition to this, a recent idea termed contact tracing allows us to track our movement into COVID-19 hot spots. With the help of latest technologies such as Watson Assistant, Watson Discovery and open-source projects, we can develop new applications and ideas which can help us aid the community.
Considering the staggering impact this pandemic has had on different communities and the global economy, here’s a take on a COVID-19 toolkit solution Tovit built by me, Fawaz Siddiqi, Mridul Bhandari, gselentumkaya and Faiz Hasan.
Here’s a brief about Tovit in a nutshell:
Tovit is a one-stop-app with all the assets you need to stay safe from COVID-19 and be well equipped with all the necessary resources. Our app consists of three components :
— A dashboard that gives us a visualization of the number of cases by countries as well as global cases.
— An open-source contact tracing module within the app which works based on barcode hosting and registry.
— A map that points to the closest supermarkets/groceries allowing you to meet your daily needs.
— A chatbot which gives more information about COVID-19, also including self-screening.
The dashboard built into Tovit helps users get an understanding of the rate of increase of COVID-19 both worldwide as well as in their country. The dashboard displays the number of confirmed cases, recovered cases, and deaths by coronavirus per country. We have opted for using an opensource dashboard solution referring to . https://github.com/trekhleb/covid-19 . Also, we have extracted the data from the COVID-19 (2019-nCoV) Data Repository by Johns Hopkins CSSE.
Digital contact tracing is an effective way to cut down on the spread of disease. Contact tracing refers to keeping a log of locations that an individual visits. Let’s say, a person tests positive for COVID-19, an alert will be sent to all users who have visited that location informing them that a COVID-19 positive user also visited.
There are multiple ways to gather location information about a user to create a log. One example is reading the user’s GPS coordinates at regular intervals. Tovit integrates the open source Track Covid project (https://github.com/tyleryasaka/TrackCOVID-community).
When a user opens the contact tracing feature in Tovit, they can scan a QR code displayed at points of interest around their city. Upon scanning this QR code, a visit to the specified location is logged.
Users can use Tovit to locate supermarkets in their nearby localities. A basic map is pulled using the Google Maps API.
To it, pointers to local supermarkets are added using the Foursquare API. Essentially this helps the user be aware of all the nearby supermarkets/groceries that can be contacted for supplies, keeping in mind the current product shortages being faced on a high scale.
Tovit contains a smart AI coversational chatbot interface that users can interact with to answer common questions about coronavirus, current case count and other such high priority questions. Questions include finding the nearest testing center and asking the chatbot about the number of new cases. The chatbot is built using IBM Watson Assistant.
Tovit demonstration video
Interested in installing the application by yourself?
Tovit Architecture diagram
- The application frontend resides on a Virtual Server on IBM Cloud. When the user interacts with Tovit, they are interacting with this frontend.
- The contact tracing application lives on the same virtual server. The contact tracing application consists of a frontend (that the user sees), a server that is responsible for storing visits and an admin service for where administrators of the application can add new users.
- The supplies and dashboard application are built into the frontend.
- The chatbot uses a Watson Assistant service on IBM Cloud. The chatbot also uses Watson Discovery to fetch data from Watson Discovery News. In addition, the chatbot uses IBM Cloud Functions to get the daily number of cases. This data is fetched from https://api.covid19api.com/summary
- Link to test centers for slot booking and automating the delivery of test results.
- Automated reporting about COVID-19 contraction to all checkpoints and the people who may be affected while anonymizing patients identity
- Attaining live location for the user to provide supplies.
- Community cooperation where people can list out the supplies they have and are willing to contribute and connect more utility services such as emergency services and ambulatory services.
- Sending checkpoint information to admins rather than an email.
- Sending checkpoint check-ins to a hospital from the admin portal.
This application will allow users to use all these utilities to make sure that they are safe and up to date with the current advances of COVID-19. It can also be a good asset for people to learn more about COVID-19 and how they can protect themselves from it and take preventive measures.
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