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Infectious Disease Tracking: Coronavirus

Devvio can utilize its blockchain technology to track infectious diseases such as the Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV / SARS-CoV-2) and Covid-19, the illness that comes from SARS-CoV-2. Epidemiologists and other experts on infectious diseases have identified contact tracking as a key tool needed to combat the coronavirus pandemic.  Tracking has allowed some countries, such as Singapore and South Korea, to keep coronavirus transmissions at manageable levels.  Devvio has developed blockchain technology that offers an innovative way to track coronavirus transmission while maintaining privacy for users.


Blockchain, and particularly Devvio’s scalable, cost-effective, and highly secure blockchain technology, is extremely well-suited to fill the need for a tracking solution for three reasons.  First, it allows an individual’s locations to be collected while keeping that individual fully anonymous.  Second, it is built for tracking large-scale, time-ordered data.  Third, it can be deployed immediately.

Overall, Devvio's blockchain represents a scalable, cost-effective, and highly secure way to track private data. Devvio's sharding technology can allow it to scale to meet the needs of large scale deployment for use in a Pandemic.

Why Devvio's Solution

Devvio's blockchain technology has a number of features that set it apart from other comparable solutions and approaches. In summary, primarily among these are:

  1. Privacy: Devvio's approach allows for privacy. A tracking solution needs to maintain users' privacy while still allowing for needed information to be anonymously transmitted to authorities. Users have full control of all of their stored information including a robust identity system.

  2. Scale and Cost: Devvio's solution can be scaled to national or even global scale. Blockchain, as a technology, is particularly well suited to tracking large volume time-ordered data. Devvio has the only solution scalable enough to apply blockchain to this use case at the needed scale. Blockchain is an ideal solution to contact tracing.

  3. Trust: Devvio's solution uses a sharding solution to parallelize the blockchain's operations. It also uses distributed consensus. What this means, in practical terms, is that any government can directly maintain and run the network for their citizens. In our view, this is the only practical way to create a tracking system that will actually work. In order for a tracking system to work, it has to be broadly deployed, and governments need to endorse it. If they are running it, they can endorse it.

Fundamentally, if the spread of a disease is tracked and authorities have needed data, then there can be actionable steps taken. Without data, authorities are in the dark in how to combat a disease's spread.

Deployment

Smartphone users can download a simple mobile app that uses the phone’s GPS to privately track locations with a user’s permission which can be maintained continuously while a user is out and near other people.  The app has three primary inputs:

Green - Arrived at a Location (where there are other people): When a user arrives at a location or is generally out and around other people, they can push the green button, recording their location and when they were there. The information is encrypted and therefore private, and it can be read only by using the private key associated with their account.

Yellow - Feeling Sick: If a user starts to feel sick, they can push the yellow button and match their symptoms with a questionnaire. If their symptoms match Coronavirus symptoms, the blockchain system registers their recent locations as “Yellow Zones”. Yellow Zones are overall weighted by multiple individuals indicating a location and the correlation levels of Coronavirus symptoms.

Red - Tested Positive For Covid-19: If one tests positive for Coronavirus, they can push the red button, anonymously reporting all of their recent locations as “Red Zones” in the system.  That information is then reported to health authorities.

Solution

The app, combined with Devvio’s blockchain technology, enables suspected and confirmed Coronavirus contacts to be tracked in a way that protects users’ private information.  This tracking allows resources to be deployed more efficiently and effectively.  For instance, a number of people with overlapping Yellow Zones would indicate a higher likelihood of Coronavirus transmission, which would help officials to determine significantly faster where investigation is needed.  Authorities would also learn quickly and easily where individuals who tested positive for Coronavirus had been during the time that they were contagious. Data produced by the system would become valuable information in combating the spread of a Pandemic.

The app can also warn users if they were potentially exposed to Coronavirus. Users can check their private locations against known Red and Yellow Zones or can set an alarm that would trigger if one of their previous locations becomes a Red or Yellow Zone.  This function allows users to learn early whether they need to self-quarantine.

Additional Capabilities

Devvio's innovative blockchain technology has other core features that are ideal for solving other related problems. For example, it could facilitate the establishment of a network of doctors by verifying their credentials and allowing information sharing.  It could also verify the identity of state officials to prevent misinformation.  Additionally, it allows for the sharing of anonymized patient data among health professionals and researchers.

Value Proposition

Devvio has unique value propositions for tracking person data.

  • Scalability: There are other tracking applications that also address privacy in different ways, but Devvio's solution, in contrast, was designed for global scale deployment. Other solutions break down at large volume and throughput. Our solution is unique in the world in its ability to track large-scale time-ordered data. We can add shards as needed to match any required volume over any geographic area. There is no other solution in existence right now that can scale to the level needed for a global or even national level solution used by a majority of citizens.

  • Privacy at Scale: In contrast to authoritarian regimes, our solution is practical in a free society. It is a difficult challenge to maintain privacy while still tracking and utilizing Personally Identifiable Information (PII), particularly when recording massive amounts of data. Devvio's solution gives users control over their data, but maintains a public backbone that is needed by officials at national and even global scale.

  • Public Nature and Sanctioning: A tracking system only has value if enough people use it. Other solutions exist where people can download an app and track their locations with privacy controls, but an official government sanctioned solution is needed in order to get enough people using it. Because our solution is a public blockchain with no central authority overseeing transactions, it is one of the only types of approaches that could actually be officially sanctioned.

  • Incentives: Devvio's solution is innately suited to creating incentives for taking part in the system. We can easily track points or other types of value that participants can earn through using the system. Points can be tied into partnerships with other entities like airlines, stores, or businesses.

  • No Central Authority, with International Applicability: Mandatory solutions in an authoritarian regime as well as other private company solutions have a fatal flaw for worldwide deployment - they rely on a single entity to maintain the data sets. Devvio's blockchain technology runs on decentralized consensus, meaning many different entities all can work together to maintain the system. This is a fundamental requirement to implement a system that is used by many countries and which tracks across national borders.

  • Expandability: Perhaps most importantly, our system has all of the capabilities needed for synergy across other use cases. We can create shards (independent networks) that are HIPAA compliant or GDPR compliant. We can maintain identity information of doctors and patients for related information which show proof that a verifying entity has validated a user's identity or other information. Patient releases of health records for public health needs can be implemented with full patient control and approval, within regulatory compliance (i.e. HIPAA), and with irrefutable records on an immutable chain showing all regulatory transactions, which can be audited. The ability to expand our system into many other valuable use cases is extremely valuable.

Contact

To learn more about Devvio’s innovative blockchain solutions, please contact us.