Sunday, August 9, 2020

DRDO develops software tool for tracking COVID patients in quarantine

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Hyderabad: The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has developed a software tool for enforcement of quarantine, which will be implemented in partnership with the Telangana Information Technology Association (TITA), an industry body of software professionals.

Both the organisations on Monday signed an agreement to implement the automated management of the software. The pilot for the implementation is likely to begin soon.

The DRDO has devised Smart Automated Management of Patients and Risks for Covid-19 (SAMPARC), an intelligent software for enforcement of quarantine or isolation.

The software tool will be a handy tool for law enforcement and health officials, as it would enable intelligent automated tracking of those in quarantine or isolation. It will also generate alerts if there are violations or wilful suppression of movement details. This is expected to reduce the tracking workload of law enforcement or health officials.

The online pact was signed by Dr Rituraj Kumar, Scientist G, Centre for AI & Robotics (CAIR) of the DRDO and Sundeep Kumar Makthala, Global President, TITA.

The SAMPARC solution can be deployed as a national service by the National Informatics Centre (NIC), or can be distributed as a state-wise or region-wise service.

Relying on the information provided by the police and health officials, it allows geofencing, face recognition, display of data on map (with hotspot information, if available).

The rollout of the solution involves no cost to the patient and local authority needs to position only a suitable computer and the software is based on a combination of open source software.

Details of the patient including name, cell phone number, IMEI of the phone, coordinates of the quarantine location, duration of quarantine, email id and optionally photographs of the patient for AI-based face detection.

The app has to be installed on the patient’s smartphone which would automatically send a protected message to the Covid server every 10 minutes. The app would run as a background service that would automatically restart even if the phone reboots. Based on the requirements of the authorities, the patient will be able to send selfies taken through the SAMPARC app to the server for automated AI based face recognition.

“The software would automatically generate an alarm if the patient violates the geofence of his quarantine location in four consecutive inputs received from the smartphone. It also sends out an alert if the selfie does not match the photo taken during registration. The software would display potential violations as a red symbol. Once the quarantine period is over, the patient would be removed from tracking and they can uninstall the SAMPARC app,” explained Makthala

“We chose TITA as an implementing partner as it has been working at the grass root level and has implemented many programmes like digital literacy, rural citizens connect with doctors through Tconsult, etc,” said Dr Kumar.

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