UMass Lowell professor teams up with entrepreneur to produce open-source software for distributing COVID-19 test kits and collecting test data.
COVID-19 has highlighted many weaknesses, not just in ourselves and society, but in the ways we can improve public health. One such weakness is in testing and data collection. In many ways, we have the communications infrastructure to get test data into the right hands, but we lack efficient ways to collect the data. As 5G Technology World has reported, we need tracking apps to interoperate, but we also need a system to efficiently get and distribute test data.
That’s where an initiative to develop software for distributing tests and collecting data can help. If you think you’ve contracted COVID-19, you’ll probably call your doctor, but then what? You must go somewhere to get testing, but what if the test could come to you so you can provide mucus samples for someone to bring to a lab? That’s what Professor Haim Levkowitz, chair of the CS department at the University of Massachusetts Lowell (UML) and Glenn Weinreb hope to provide.
The proposal consists of six projects:
- Develop Point-of-Contact COVID Test with 15ft Offset.
- Get COVID Test within 10 minutes via 911.
- Improve Point-of-Entry Control.
- Improve Elevated Body Temperature (EBT) Detection Systems.
- Develop Field Medicine Support Technology.
- Develop Air Testing Support Software.
The complete document is available here.
In the video interview below, Weinreb explains four of six software projects that graduate students can design in 90 days given proper funding of $1.1 M. Levkowitz and Weinreb intend to make the source code for a mobile app, web app, database, and communications, plus training materials, freely available.
In the video, Weinreb discusses the use of police to distribute and collect COVID-19 test kits while maintaining social distancing. He also discusses people at stores and building who keep track of the number of people inside as being possible distributors and collectors. He also mentions that police officers or National Guard personnel as possible distributors/collectors. Such personnel need not be the only people doing that work. Anyone with the proper training can perform the tasks. Indeed, it might be counterproductive for security personnel to be doing that work if not needed.
Weinreb is CTO of Manhattan 2, a 501(c)3 organization whose goal is to develop technologies to mitigate climate change. While that activity is presently on hold, Weinreb has shifted his focus to this COVID-19 initiative. Manhattan 2 is currently the Project Coordinator for the UML COVID-19 initiative. “One hundred percent of funding raised for this project will go to support UML researchers,” said Weinreb following the recorded interview. For more information, contact Weinreb.